Tuesday, March 1, 2011

what do you get when Pink Eye and a Sinus Infection meet?

A very sick Jaqui.... :(

Hello friends and family. Sorry for the break in my postings, I have been sick and busy... not the best combination in the world. A couple of things have happened over the past couple weeks. First and foremost I had a wonderful shopping day in Tel Aviv with Marina. We bought tons of cute stuff. I even got a cute pair of flats for NIS 30 (that's less than $10!!!!) It was that night that i started feeling sick... and it has carried over to today.

Last week we had a field trip to an army base where we got to speak with the soldiers and look at all the different guns they use. While i still have not formed a decision as to whether or not I agree if there should be a mandatory draft here in Israel I do strongly respect and appreciate the men and women in the Israeli army.

I also got new glasses!!! There is this cute glasses palce on my street that was having a sale (buy one get one free) so i went in, had my eyes checked and since they have changed a little bit from my old glasses they said I should get new ones. So I got two super cute pairs of glasses for $100. I am very proud of myself for that one :D

More exciting news... this summer at Tawonga I am going to be the Israel Educator! This means I get to work with the Israeli's that are coming to work at camp, both while here in Israel and at camp, and run programs regarding Israel. I am very very excited.

This past weekend helped with my excitement. I was on a Shabbaton (a weekend retreat that happens over Shabbat...obvs) and it is for the program I am working with, Avi Chai. It trains people how to take wht they have learned in Israel during the year and bring it back to camp. And over the weekend we all got to meet with some of the Israeli's that worked at camps last summer and are going back. Unfortunately none of them are going to Tawonga, but it was so exciting to meet the Israeli's and get to talk with them about their experiences with camp in the past. It also gave me some amazing programming ideas.

This week in general so far has been hard because I have been so sick. All my teachers have been very understanding, and all of them want me to get better before worrying about school work. Last night was nice because my boyfriend came over and we made dinner, and he made me tea and gave me a back rub to make me feel better. Yes, that is right, I have a boyfriend. He is amazing. His name is Eehab. It has been almost a month now, and he is saying that he really wants to come visit me in the states to meet all my friends and family since I speak so highly of you all! i told him we would look more into the situation as may approaches.

Yesterday I had to say good-bye to Mohammed. No no no, not for good, since I know that's what you all were just thinking, for two weeks. Mohammed and his family are taking a vacation to Saudi Arabia. They are going by bus which is a 24 hour bus ride!!! no thank you! I offered to lend him my IPod so he could have some music to listen to but he said he would manag without it.

So today I went to the doctor for the 2nd time. I went yesterday and all the doctor could tell me was that I didn't have strep.... THANKS! so this morning when I woke up and couldn't open my left eye because of some kind of goop and my sinus' were throbbing I decided it was probably the best idea to go back to the doctor. I went and they told me I have pink eye and a sinus infection, awesome! So i couldn't go to school since the pink eye is apparently contagious and I didn't want to infect anyone.

So, on a very sad note. One of my cousins, Margie, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Margie is one of the sweetest women I know and I can only pray and hope for her to overcome this. In Judaism we have a prayer for healing, it's called the MiShebeirach... I am including that in this blog so everyone can read it. I also request of you to keep Margie and her friends and family in your prayers so that she makes a full recovery.

Mi shebeirach avoteinu
M'kor hab'racha l'imoteinu
May the source of strength,
Who blessed the ones before us,
Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,
and let us say, Amen.

Mi shebeirach imoteinu
M'kor habrachah l'avoteinu

Bless those in need of healing with r'fuah sh'leimah,
The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit,
And let us say, Amen

Friday, February 11, 2011

An Interesting Night on the 106

Ok so now it is story time. I am going to tell you about what happened to my yesterday while riding the bus with Mohammed. But first... I am providing you all with a picture of Mohammed and I so you can all finally see who this man is. The comments I have received thus far are "He is a lot cuter than I imagined." "He's Arab?" So please feel free to leave your comments as well :D

So yes, this is my friend Mohammed.
The story of my adventures on the Bus. It started at 4:00pm on Thursday. I called Mohammed earlier that day to see if he would be driving that night so I could come on the bus and hang out with him. So he called me back saying he was leaving the beginning of the route at 4:20 and would be driving the 18 as usual. I said "great! I have nothing to do right now so I am going to come join you!" He was very excited. So I started getting out of my PJ's and getting put together when he called at 4:25 to tell me that he was going to be driving the 49 and not the 18 so I can't get on the bus with him. (only because he wasn't going to be coming by my street). Bummed of course, I told him to call me when he was going to be driving the 18 so i could see him. 5 mins later he calls me again frantically saying that the 49 comes to my street and to meet him there in about 10 mins. So I rush and grab my purse and wallet and run to the bus stop to meet him. I was so excited because I had never ridden on the 49 before and I am always excited when I get to go on a new bus because I get to see a part of Jerusalem that I haven't seen yet.
So I get on the bus and ask him where we are going. "I don't know" he says. The bus company didn't tell him where the route went so he was relying on passengers to tell him where to go. I was very excited for our adventure and told him that if we were going to be lost at least we would be lost together. So a rather uneventful bus ride led us to a place that I don't know the name of. The 49 now was the number 19. I was very excited about the 19 because it goes to Hadassah Hospital with the Chagal Windows. (for more details regarding the Chagal windows please reference mom and uncle dennis). So we made it up to the hospital and it looks amazing. We only had about 15 mins until we would start the route as the 42A so Mohammed ran inside to use the bathroom and to buy some goodies for the drive.
The 42A was very uneventful. Only one person got on, because it is a bus that goes to Hebrew University, but not the main campus. As we pull up to the gate a security guard walks in and asks for our ID's. Luckily I had my passport on me or else I would have had to give him my CA license and I don't know if that would have been ok. So we go through the campus and that was it. We then had about an hour and 15 before he was going to become the number 18... so we decided to hang out and smoke Hukah!
It was so much fun. He went and got all the stuff for Hukah, and we drove the bus close to where the beginning of the 18 is and smoked Hukah on the bus. That is where this lovely picture of the 2 of us is from. So then from there we did the normal 18 route. A ticket checker guy came on the bus, and i was glad that I made Mohammed give me a M'avar ticket. (it's a transfer ticket) with his punch on it, that way he wouldn't get fined.
Now, somewhere between all this bus changing and what not we were on Agrippas (it's a streek that goes perpendicular to the Shuk) and were in completely stopped traffic. All we saw were siren lights. Eventually we are able to pass after the ambulance drives away and we drive by a bus that has a huge crack in the windshield. (i will be coming back to this shortly...there is a purpose).
After smoking Hukah on the bus we had to get started on the usual route. Nothing exciting happened just the usual. But what was in store for us that night neither of us had been prepared for. After about 1 am the buses become night buses and have different numbers and go to different places. So again that night, the bus changed numbers, this time to the 106. Mohammed had told me that for these bus routes and times he needs a bus with cameras in it and with security guards because, especially on a Thursday night, the buses just get filled with drunk people. I said ok, I am sure that's just because Egged (the bus company) is trying to be as cautious as possible. So we do the first route. Very boring, nothing exciting at all. I even asked him how long the next route would be because i was getting tired and I didn't know if I could make it all the way till 3am. (yes, I was on the bus for almost 12 hours). He said if i needed to get off when we passed my apartment that wouldn't be a big deal. So we had about 30mins before the next route began so we went to the place where the buses live and I got to meet one of Mohammed's bus driver friends.
He told me how it was his dream to learn English (in Hebrew). He then told us about the accident that happened on Agrippas. He said that someone had slipped on the street and the bus drove over her!!!!! He didn't have an explanation as to the shattered / cracked windshield. So after a while of talking and drinking coffee we were off on the last run of the night. The security guard, Mohammed, and I are all talking and cracking jokes as no one was yet on the bus. Then we get to this one bus stop and there were probably about 50 teens there. They were all drunk and smoking and needed to get on the bus. They're all pushing trying to get on the bus because it's raining outside. One kid once he gets on the bus walks all the way to the back to try and let his friend in. So he tries to pull open these automatic doors and Mohammed stands up in his chair and yells at them to stop and to sit down. Once all the kids are on the bus they are making a bus and yelling and being very obnoxious. So, the security guard walks back there to tell them to settle down. Apparently one of the kids told him that if he doesn't come back up to the front of the bus he will stab him. So the security guard came back up and that's when the kids start to smoke on the bus.
Immediately the security guard calls the cops. In the mean time other passengers and I are trying to open windows in order to get the smokey smell off the bus. Then Mohammed drives by one bus stop, and another, and another and the kids start swearing at him and yelling at him. These two kids (the ones that threaten the security guard) came storming up to the front furious! Once Mohammed gets the opportunity to stop the bus he does. He then stands up with his ticket puncher in his hands. I have never seen someone look so mad and furious in my life. I literally thought that he was ready to kill one of these kids. They were yelling at him, swearing at him, trying to pull the doors open. This is the point at which the cops showed up and stormed onto the bus.
The kids all saw the cops come on and they all quickly took their seats and got quiet. The cops chose a couple of the kids to pull off the bus, but since no one of us could tell them exactly who was smoke there wasn't much the cops were able to do. So two of the cops stayed on the bus to make sure that nothing else too crazy happened. The two kids that had stormed up to the front of the bus started getting into it with the cop. The cop told Mohammed to stop at the next stop so he did and he opened the door. This one kid and the cop were yelling and the cop was telling the kid to get off the bus. The kid refused to listen so the cop took the kid by the collar of his shirt and pushed / threw him off the bus. The kid went flying. He hit the ground and lost a shoe in the process. Mohammed started to drive again. Now the other kid starting getting into it with the cop. Mohammed stopped at the next bus stop and the cop told this kid to get off the bus. After a while of arguing, the kid got off the bus on his own.
At this point I started talking with the people around me about how we couldn't believe that these kids think it's ok to talk to the cops the way they are and how they are drinking and smoking at the age of 14 and 15. This guy behind me who was wearing and Indiana University hat starts to yell at us saying, "these kids drink because they don't think they are going to have a tomorrow! They are living in a country that no one wants to exist. They are drinking because they want to live life so why do you all shut up!" We all didn't know what to do. The girls started laughing because they are Israeli and told the guy how wrong he is about why they do this.
After about 5 mins after the cops got off the bus the kids that were left on the bus were smoking... AGAIN! so again, the security guard called the cops. Since Mohammed can't hold these kids on the bus they were able to get off the bus before the cops made it to us again. We finally made it to the end of the route. I obviously asking Mohammed if he was ok and made sure the Security Guard was ok too. They both said they were fine. Mohammed and I got to the place where the buses sleep and he drove me home.
That was my adventure on the 106. Mohammed says he will never again drive this bus, and I told him if he does, I want to come on again!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Going to the Ukraine, and I need YOUR help!

8 February 2011

Friends and Family,

I know many of you have been receiving emails from me already regarding this trip, but the presence of this letter shows that I still have not yet raised the money in order for me to participate. I currently have raised $670! This is very exciting. The goals is for each participant to raise $2500, so I am not quite there yet. Every little bit helps. Here is a little bit about the program and what we will be doing. Please take the time to read the information and if possible to make a donation.

In partnership with the World Union for Progressive Judaism, which unites and supports Reform congregations worldwide, this will be the Ninth Annual FSU Pesach Project. The mission of the trip is to provide meaningful Passover celebrations for thousands of under-served Jews in the region. While there has been an abundance of Jewish philanthropy and development in the FSU since the 1990s, there are still only six progressive rabbis to serve over one hundred Jewish communities during Passover.

Our student delegations will be traveling to at least eight communities throughout Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in order to lead Passover seders, conduct educational programming, create relationships with Jews of all ages, and strengthen the Jewish identity of these diverse communities. To read testimonials from past participants, view pictures and videos, and see my very own bio please check out our website here.

As I begin my journey of supporting Jewish communities worldwide I hope that you will be able to support me in this student-led initiative. The cost of participation for each delegate is $2,500, which includes: travel expenses, educational materials, Passover supplies for all the participants, as well as donations to each community--which will enable them to continue observing Passover in the years to come.

HUC’s FSU Pesach Project serves as an important way to recognize the profound importance of celebrating the Jewish story of liberation in a place where freedom from oppression is a real and recent experience. Any amount you can contribute will make a huge difference in offsetting the costs of participation.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online or via USPS:

There you will find a link to the HUC-JIR Donation page. Be sure to mark my name in the “comments” section.

By mail:

HUC-JIR Attn: Diane Bongard
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220

Checks should be made out to “HUC-JIR-FSU Project”, please also mark my name in the memo line.

If you have any questions regarding this exciting project, please email me at mccabe.jaclyn@gmail.com. I want to thank you in advance for your commitment to making this project a success. Every little bit counts!

Thank you very much


Jaqui McCabe

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Well this week, to say the least has been very uneventful. School has been school. I had my first Hebrew test of the semester and went in feeling very uneasy. I even wanted to ask my teacher if I could wait till the end of the week to take the test because I was that uncomfortable with the material. But, I chugged through it and managed to come out with getting at 80%! I was very excited about it. I apparently knew more than I thought I did which was also exciting. I also went out to dinner with Rabbi Graetz and Sharon. We went to a place called the colony. It was the same place all my friends took me to for my birthday back in June. It was really delicious as well as exciting to hang out with Rabbi Graetz outside of his role as Rabbi.

This week we have colloquium. I am not actually sure what the definition of colloquium is, but we are all saying it’s 4 days of hell. We are discussing the very interesting topics of G-d, Torah, and Israel…. something after 8 months of being in Israel we clearly have to gotten around to talking about yet – NOT! Hello people… we are at a Reform Seminary in Jerusalem, all we talk about are G-d, Torah, and Israel. So I am sure you’re all wondering why we are calling this the 4 days of hell, well it is my please to let you know that because of this amazing colloquium we have school Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Because someone obviously thought it was a good idea to tell a bunch of people that really value their weekend sleeping time that they need to come to school at 830am every day. Clearly whoever thought that was a good idea is a morning person and has never met me when I don’t get enough sleep.

While the colloquium was in reality very interesting (even though I can’t relay the information to you) there is a lot of frustration about the scheduling of the program.

And now, a very important message…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO UNCLE DENNIS! (even though this is going to be posted after the fact, today 2/3/2011, is Uncle Dennis’ birthday!) So, if you see him or talk with him please wish him a happy birthday.

So today, even though I am stuck at school on my Friday till about noon I am going to be renting a car and going up to Ein Gedi (the dead sea) with a friend... yes a person that I may potentially be more than friends with. I am really looking forward to getting away from the very busy environment that I have been in since school started, here in Jerusalem.

Ok, since it's been a couple days since I wrote the blog and forgot to post it, i can tell you all what happened over the weekend. I went to Ein Gedi and it was beautiful. It was raining in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem but the weather in Ein Gedi was beautiful. We walked down to the water (didn't get in) and sat and talked. After spending a couple hours there we came back to Jerusalem. He took me to a place in his neighborhood for dinner...it was kinda like a KFC but SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!! We talked about going down to Eilat this next weekend because he wants me to meet his friends. So, that's the plan as of now but I will let you know for sure.

I am working really hard on downloading the L'chi Lach, but every time I try to it essentially freezes the computer, so hopefully this week I will have it figured out.

That's essentially it for now, I will obviously let you all know how Eilat is if we end up going :)



Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another Week

Another week gone by, and since I made it a goal of mine to update the blog every week I am doing so. With that being said, this blog is not going to be a very long one... sorry.
This week was another week of school. Nothing very exciting happened. On Wednesday for our Israel Seminar class we had a day of looking at Women's Status in Israel. We heard from different women that have jobs that are focused on helping women that live in Israel. The first woman went into detail about how the orthodox community is trying to make segregated buses so that men and women don't have to sit on the same bus. This is not allowed and the bus company out here won't allow it so instead what the orthodox community has done is made it so that women have to sit on the back of the buses. This is not something that happens on all the buses here in Jerusalem, just the ones that go through the orthodox communities such as Meah Sh'arim. What was interesting was that the day after hearing this I saw Mohammed and he told he that on Friday he was going to be driving one of these buses that have women sit in the back. I got so excited and asked him if I could join him on this ride. I was excited because I really wanted to see what this was like. He told me that if I did join him I would have to dress like an orthodox girl and would have to sit in the back of the bus otherwise I would get yelled at. I obviously agreed to doing so. On Friday morning as I get up and begin to get ready to go, Mohammed called me and told me he was no longer driving that bus. I was a little disappointed because I really interested in experiencing this.
The other woman, Rachel, works in the government and has taken it upon herself to help women that are specifically in the orthodox movement. We learned that how on the buses here in Israel there aren't any pictures of women's faces because the Orthodox men can't look at them then. She told us about a story of a woman that came it and said her husband had rapped their 6 year old daughter and the courts told the woman that there was nothing they could do because it is a matter between her husband and he daughter and it didn't involve her. So Rachel has taken on the role of helping women in these situations and trying to make it equal for everyone. We then watched clips of a few films and analyzed the role of the women. A lot of the statistics they told us were really disturbing and it makes me want to have a more active role and creating equal rights.
That was the most exciting thing that happened this week, otherwise everything else is the same...school school school. We did have our conference call for LA on thursday night and it was really interesting and it made me really excited about moving down to LA. So of course, out of my excitement I began to look up apartments.... didn't find anything too exciting. I think it is really just going to come down to me needing to go and look at places. I also don't know if I want to have a roommate. Any opinions?
Tonight is the Debbie Friedman concert. For those of you that don't know who Debbie Friedman is, she essentially changed the face of Jewish Music. Much of her music is sang at congregations, and communities around the world. Over my winter break, Debbie passed away so tonight at school we are having a concert to remember her. Me and other students are going to be singing one of her famous songs Lechi Lach. Moms favorite song! I am going to try and get someone to record it on my camera and then I will try and post it tonight on the blog for you all to see.
This week at school we only have 3 days of class because we are having what we a Colloquium. I have no idea what the means but once we have it and I am there, I will fill you all in. That's about it for tonight, nothing exciting :)
Hope everyone is well!

Friday, January 21, 2011

First week back....

Yes, this week I led T'fillah. While this statement would normally not sound as bizarre, it is. When I was in Arizona I led services all the time...but as the Cantor. This week my role for leading the service was totally different... I had the more "Rabbinical Role". While I did not feel as though the service went well, I have been getting very positive feedback from my classmates, staff, and administration. I probably feel weird about the situation because it was the first time I was leading a service in this position.
The first week of being back has been pretty exciting. I got in on time and headed right back for the apartment. I was greeted by my new roommate abbey who is great... (she actually cleans up after herself!) I tried really hard not to but I took a quick 30 min nap until Shabbat was over. I was starving since I didn't eat the breakfast one the plane. Breakfast plane food scares me especially when it's kosher. So I woke up after 30 mins and headed downstairs to Soya to get food. I was greeted with big hellos and hugs!!! And of course, out of the goodness of their hearts they didn't make me pay for my meal. They are so good to me. I immediately gave them their yummy yummy gifts, Sconza Candy and they LOVED IT! I gave Tomer (the guy that works at night at Soya) one to give to Eran (the guy that works in the morning). The next day I saw Eran and asked if he liked the candy and he had no idea what I was talking about because Tomer ate his!!! I felt really bad but I didn't have any extra so I told him I would figure something else out. I also got a Giants baseball cap for Tomer's sone. I guess he loved it so much he wants more hats!!! So, look out Uncle Dennis, I have an international order coming your way.
I didn't get to see Moshe until Sunday night. He too was very excited to see me. I gave him the chocolate and said he couldn't eat it until later in the evening because he had just eaten meat. (For Kosher laws you have to wait 6 hours after eating meat to eat milk, and since the chocolate has milk... well you can figure it out from there.) So that evening I went to dinner at my friends house and I get back at 9:15 so see if Moshe had eaten the candy yet (oh btw, I have him the Chocolate covered Cherries) and he only had 4 left in the bag!!! He loved them sooo much. He said he was saving the rest of the cherries to give to his Yeshiva friends. He wanted me to get him more but I clearly have no way of doing that so I told him he should have savored each and every bite.
Then I FINALLY was able to see Muhammed. He is doing well, minus the fact that they changed the bus route a little bit so it takes him a lot longer but the company didn't actually allow for this extra time in his schedule so he rarely gets a break during the day. I rode the bus with him for 4.5 hours!! (that's definitely a record for me). We talked and just enjoyed seeing each other again. When I was home I made sure to get him something for the bus. On his normal bus, his partner has up all this heart stickers over the different mirrors on the bus, so I thought it would be nice to get him something to put there to. So I ended up getting him I really cool sticker of the Golden Gate Bridge that says San Francisco over it. He put it up right away. I also got him some American Flag stickers (how could I resist?) and he put three of those up. So I am forever more a part of that number 18 bus! Last night I got on the bus and after we smoked Hookah. We hadn't done that in a while so it was really nice to in a way go back to the old ways.
School has been good. Nice to get a few new classes and nice to have a schedule again. I have been absolutely exhausted though. Between getting home at 1am from the bus rides and getting up at 645am I am surprised I am still a functioning human being. Even today, Friday, a day when we don't have school, us education students had to be at an elementary school at 815 so we could observe the school. As cool as it is to see... ARE YOU KIDDING ME! 815 ON A FRIDAY MORNING! so tomorrow is my 1st day being able to sleep in since being back. I have a feeling that since I have slept-in in a while I won't be sleeping in as late as I would like to. Thats also okay though since I do have some work I need to get done.
The weather here as been cold. During the day it is pleasant out, and I can get away with wearing a skirt with leggings and a jacket, but at night I need layer upon layer upon layer.
Something that was really shocking to me when I got back was how much I missed it here. I was having such a hard time adapting to the culture and society and I was very much looking forward to coming back... who knows, maybe now I will move here! :)
Even though it's a friday night I am absolutely exhausted and I need to get some sleep. I still need donations for my trip to the Ukraine so I will be sending out another mass email soon. Thank you to those of you that donated. I will post again soon!


Friday, January 14, 2011

And we begin again...

So first and foremost, my apologies to my extreme lack in blog postings. It is a new years resolution of mine to be better about posting. (we'll see how long that lasts)
First to try and update you about things that happened during the last part of my first semester. Uncle Dennis came and visited and we had a great time. Unfortunately he came right in the middle of midterms so I wasn't able to go and do things with him, but he was able to keep himself occupied. We did go up to Tel Aviv and Herzalyia for a weekend and had Shabbat dinner with and old friend of his. That was nice for me to be able to get out of Jerusalem for a while. I was very excited when he brought me a World Series Champions shirt that I was able to sport around...my friend Ryan who's brother is the GM for the Rangers i am sure was less then thrilled. After uncle dennis left I had to get ahead in all my school work to prepare for mom coming!!!!
The followings weeks were pretty uneventful minus the trip we took to the a Kibbutz. A Kibbutz is a community that lives together. They also eat together in a dining hall and all work on the Kibbutz and usually whatever is being made there is used throughout the country...for example there is a Kibbutz in Israel that provides the milk for most of the country (obviously there is more than one milk company but they are the best). On our trip up to the Kibbutz we stopped in Tzfat. Tzfat is a small community, one of the 4 holy cities of Israel and got a tour. We walked from the top of Tzfat to the bottom and were lucky enough to stop at a kabbalistic art place along the way. This man, Avraham, who talked a lot about his name, created some of the most amazing pieces of art. I bought 3 pieces (one for me, one for mom, and one for Dmitry) If you want to see the art work I got mom just ask her and I am sure she would be more than willing to share it with you. There is an explanation that goes with the art but it's similar to a yin and yang idea with what you give and what you get, as well as the idea of conditional vs. unconditional love. Once we got to the Kibbutz I was not feeling all that well but regardless, again, it was nice to get away from Jerusalem
Then, MOM CAME! it was a very emotional moment when I saw mom entering the "family waiting area" also for her since her last leg of the flight was not the best (and that's putting it nicely). I had a nice that said, "mommy, welcome to Israel!" as well as a little teddy bear with a blue sweatshirt on and an israeli flag. Mom loved it! From the airport we went right to my apartment and were the 2nd people dropped off. This was really exciting because usually I am one of the last people. We got to the apartment mom quickly unpacked a couple things and then we were off to Ben Yehuda street. Ben Yehuda street is a very popular touristy area. Tons of shops with little nick nacks. She LOVED it! From there we went to dinner and then went to bed. Lets just say the first night of sleeping was not the best for me. But by the end of the two weeks we were able to work it out.
Some other highlights of mom coming to visit were: she came to school with me one day and joined my Hebrew Class at the Italian Synagogue. I tried to translate what the guy was saying because he was speaking all in Hebrew, but if I started telling mom then I would miss the next thing he said and wasn't able to tell mom, so after a while i just kinda gave up. Mom also came to T'fillah one day which she really enjoyed. We went to Tel Aviv one night. We were supposed to walk around but I accidentally had us get on the bus that goes to the northern part of Tel Aviv rather than the stop right when you enter the city, so we were sitting in traffic for a while and just ended up getting milkshakes and dinner at Yotvata, which is right along the beach. The food was well worth the journey. Also, once weekend we went up to a cute little town in "wine country" called Zichron Yaqov. I love this little town and was glad that I was able to take mom there. Other than those bigger trips mom and I stayed around Jerusalem and explored the city. We went into the old city, the Cardo (arab market) and the Shuk. Mom was very lucky to meet Muhammed. She thought he was very nice and good looking. I made sure to tell him this and he was very flattered. He also told me to say hello to all my friends and family for him... so "HELLO!" Mom and I ate at a different restaurant every night and finally by the end of the trip she started to get a little more experimental with the foods she was eating. She enjoyed every place we went, which I was really grateful for. On Shabbat we went to the park which was really nice. Mom was truly amazed with how everything really does stop. So, Mom, Nina, Sam and I all went to a park that is close to my apartment and had a little lunch and then Sam, Nina and I did a little studying for finals. Obviously mom met Moshe. SHe loved him :)
Then mom and I flew home. It was a long journey...especially since our flight from Zurich was delayed by 2 hours, but we were still able to make it home on time for me to sleep through new years!
My time at home was pretty amazing. It was nice to come home and see all my friends and family. It was exactly what I needed to make it through the next 5 months. There was a part of me that was nervous that I wouldn't want to go back after being home for 2 weeks but in actuality I am really looking forward to going back. I am anxiously sitting at SFO and soo excited to go back and see everyone. I made sure to bring everyone back something from the states. For all my friends that work in the shops below my apartment building I am bringing them Candy from Sconza's! And for Muhammed I am bringing him a cool San Francisco sticker to put on the bus... since his driving partner has so many up. So I am really excited to go back and see them all.
While I was home I did a lot of shopping, which was obviously very necessary :) Now I have 16 hours of traveling to figure out which outfit I want to wear to school on Sunday. I will definitely let you all know. I am really excited for the new semester because I have some new classes. I am taking an Arab-Israeli conflict class and a history of Jewish Music class, which I am really excited about.
I will try my hardest to keep you all posted about everything over the next semester. I am really looking forward to 5 more months of new experiences.
Love you all soooo much!!!
PS.... this new astrological sign business.... i am sooooooooooooo not down. (i just feel bad for all those people who got tattoos of their sign and now they're different... )