Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Jaqui Needs YOUR help

Shalom Everyone,
unfortuneatley due to my Hebrew exam tomorrow I have to make this blog a short one but here it goes.

This Pesach (Passover), Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR), in partnership with the World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ), will be sending 17 students to facilitate educational programming and prayer experiences in progressive communities in the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The FSU Pesach Project is made possible by the financial support of family, friends and the greater progressive Jewish community around the world. This tremendous opportunity strengthens the connections between HUC-JIR and Worldwide Progressive Judaism, enriches progressive communities in the FSU, and provides participants with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of sharing Pesach with the unique Jewish communities in the FSU. I would love to have your support through whatever kind of donation you can spare. I know for many people, finances are very tight so even if you can only spare a dollar or two you donation will be taken with the deepest gratitude and thanks.
Here is the link to donate: from here click on the donation tab at the top of the page and then once there click the donate now link on the right side. It is important that you make clear the donation will be going to me; Jaclyn McCabe. Thank you all so much for your support!!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time With Uncle Dennis

While my original plan was to just copy and paste what Uncle Dennis been emailing to everyone I decided that was a bad idea for a number of reasons... 1) For those of you already getting his email... it's just plain boring to read it again 2) I am not actually with him for most of the stuff he is doing because, yes, Jaqui is at school. Anyhoo... we have been having a good time. Trying to eat out as much as possible but it's proving to be very difficult since many days I don't get home from school till about 6ish on some days and then I immediately have to get going on my homework. It's actually nice for someone to see why I rarely update my blog... I DO THE SAME THINGS EVERY DAY!!!!!!!! While sleeping on the couch doesn't seem to be too bad, the worst part is that I am getting eaten alive by mosquitoes... who created those things anyway?
I have made a new friend. His name is Muhammed, he is an Arab Israeli. It is actually really cool to have an Arab friend because it gives me a completely different perspective about Israeli society that I never would have gotten otherwise and also adds a dynamic to my year in Israel that very few people would be able to get. While there are many times we talk about what it is I am doing here and what it's like for him to be an Arab living in Jerusalem most of out talks having nothing to do with religion, politics, or challenges we are each facing...we just talk as if we are old friends. It is nice to have a friend that is in no way associated with school, Judaism, or anything else I am doing here. Muhammed is a bus driver so about once a week I will hop on the bus (the #18) during the last route of his night and stand and talk with him. I keep him entertained to say the least :D After he route we hop into his car and go to a local park or back to my apartment (depending on the weather) and smoke Hookah. After we smoke he drops me off at my apartment and then heads back to his village. There are many times when he asks me how I am doing so far away from home and I always give him the same answer, "it's so hard being away from my family because my family is the most important thing to me, but I am very fortunate to get this opportunity that I would have never gotten otherwise" to which he responds, "well you are part of my family, so you have family here now too." As bizarre and crazy as that may sound when he says it, there is a slight feeling of warmth that comes over me, knowing that I have 'family" here in Israel. This is usually followed by the, so when are you leaving again question or the are you planning on coming back to Israel. I tell him my return to the states is not for another 6 months and that we shouldn't worry about it now. I will keep you all updated about that friendship.
Midterms are just about over... and by just about over i mean I have one more due tomorrow and thats it. I am not used to so many tests... as and English major and even with the Judaic studies major a lot of my midterms and finals were papers, so I am having to develop my study skills all over again (at least it feels that way). Luckily I already have one of my finals so I am already going to start working on that so that when mom comes I will have one less thing to worry about... oh ya, mom will be here in 1 month and 2 days!!!!! sooo excited!!! (side note mom: if you plan on using my computer... don't plan on using it very much)
Uncle Dennis and I are heading up a little north this weekend for shabbat so we will let you all know how that goes.
I miss you all soooooooooooooooooooo much!

Monday, November 8, 2010


soooo since I know that I am a terrible blogger and haven't written in G-d knows how long I thought of a really amazing idea! Since uncle Dennis is going to be here in exactly 2 days i thought i would just take what he writes and make comments on it... good idea??? i think sooooooo. (especially since not everyone that follows my blog is on his mailing list)

To give you a minor update before I comment on his email he already sent out here is an update:
1) I made friends with a bus driver who lets me ride the bus for free...WOOHOO!!!! look how good I am at saving money
2) Dmitry sent me a package (for those of you that don't know who Dmitry is... well u can pretty much as anyone in my family and they will be able to tell you) but, the package has yet to arrive, so I am anxious on finally receiving something in the mail.
3) the dried pineapple here is AH-MA-ZING!
4) I have a crock pot here and since it's beginning to get cold here I would love some crock pot recipes.
5)I am pretty sure I am slowly converting my family (and by family i mean Rebecca) over to a MacBook... I am really excited for her!!! Bec-O you'll love it.
6) my apartment is DISGUSTING! For some of you, I know this is going to be hard to believe, but in all seriousness I am the only one that cleans in this place! So i went on petition and didn't mop or anything for 2 weeks and my roommates still didn't get the picture, so finally I gave in a mopped. (Don't worry, i will clean before uncle dennis gets here)
7) i don't think im going to have enough clothes for the winter time... so i will let you know if u need some early hanukkah presents
8) WAY TO GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!
9) the exchange rate SUCKS right now. when i got here it was 3.86 and now it's like 3.5... lets keep our fingers cross that is goes up and for those of you that are close with G-d... maybe you'll wanna look itnto that and say a couple prayers for me.
I think thats it... not for the commentary on Uncle D's 1st email!

Finally...I'm off to Jerusalem bright an early Tuesday morning. Jaqui, I think will be meeting me at the airport in Tel Aviv (this would be a true statement if my teacher would ever get back to me!!!!!) and we'll bus back to her apartment in Jerusalem. She called me this morning to tell me that her antiquities teacher (actually, he's my Biblical History teacher, but who really cares?) has a field trip lined up for the Old City of David on Thursday and I'm invited!!! Luckily the tour will be in English...otherwise Jaqui would have to translate. (so yes, the idea of me translating might sound silly, but I would just like to put this out there... My hebrew is actually pretty good and you all would only be so lucky to have my translate a tour in Hebrew... if anything I would definitely make it more entertaining!!!) WHEW!
It's been hectic at the store...the Giants etc. Thanks to my buddy Gary, I've been getting lots more mdse. than I had ordered or anticipated selling as sales have been unbelievable, to say the least.
I'm looking forward to spending quality time with Jaqui and seeing Jerusalem in much more detail than when I was there 2 years ago for just 5 days. (thanks for the pressure!!!!! I definitley do the best I can. Since I am very confident in my knowledge of the 18 bus line...the bus line my new friend drives... i can atleast explain about those parts of Jerusalem) I'll be spending some time with Bruce, my old best friend from my early days of school and growing up...he lived just around the corner from me, to our college days in Berkeley.
Email me anytime and I'll have access to Jaqui's computer to respond. (While this assumption was never run by me, yes, Uncle D will have access to my computer with some qualifications... i need to use it for school and for school work, so the amount of time he actually spends on the computer is probably going to be less then he is thinking ... also... we all know he has is phone that he never seems to be able to put down, so if he isn't able to use my computer there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to reach him on his phone. With that being said, I don't know if he is going to have his phone working here... so if anyone needs to get a hold of us please call me on my cell phone here in Israel to which we will then call you from skype!)


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


that's pretty much all I have to say. If everyone would like to join me in the prayers that the Philly's win that would be greatly appreciated. :) thanks!

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Hello All,
What a few weeks it has been. For Sukkot friends and I went to Kos, Rhodes, and Santorini on a cruise. And then we got back and began our first full week of school. It was a little overwhelming and very exhausting but I made it through and happy to announce that I have a test tomorrow...wish me luck! On this blog I don't have too much to say, so mainly I am just going to be downloading photos from my trip to greece. All these pictures loaded in backwards order so it might be better for you so start at the bottom and work your way up. xoxo miss you all!!!!!
Ohad and Me. He was one of the guys that worked on the cruise.
Slave and me. He was one of your waiters.
Faith and of our waitresses
Towel animal :)
The group that went to greece. Me, Marina, Ashley, Liz, Carlie and Greg...Ryan went also but he is taking the picture.
Me infront of Santorini
Me, Ashley, and Marina
Wine Tasting!
this is the view from the top of the mountains on Santorini.

Having fun at the ruins of the first hospital.
The view from the Ruins...across the way is Turkey.
I am adding on to the fallen pillar.

Me :)
More ruins for the first Hospital
the beautiful clear water
Me on the beach in Kos

A Cafe called FRIENDS! who would have ever thought?!
Marina and I on the train to take our tour around the Island of Kos.
That's our train!
My yogurt and honey from Momma's Kitchen.
The fresh fish from the water in Kos.

The modern part of Rhodes
Old City of Rhodes
The main circle of the old city in Rhodes.
Cats in Greece, just like in Jerusalem...look there's Ginger!
A synagogue.... it was closed so we weren't able to go in.

The first Greek flag I saw when approaching Greece.

All of us in front of the boat in Rhodes.
Look how blue the water is!
Me as we are entering the port in Rhodes
Enjoying my Margarita :)

My Mano Card
In the port waiting to get on the boat.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Master Your Fears

Yomim Noraim (the days of awe). That's what these past 10 days here in Jerusalem have been. Rosh Hashana: the Jewish new year...this is where we will begin. Rosh Hashana began on a Wednesday so everything around the city closed for Wednesday night, all of Thursday, all of Friday, and all of Saturday, since the holiday coincided with Shabbat. Nothing was really exciting about Rosh Hashana. It didn't feel any different than being in the states, other than the fact that nothing was open. It was a hard holiday to go through especially since I got sick on Erev Rosh Hashana and for the obvious reason of not being able to be there with my family. Two days before Erev Rosh Hashana I found out that Karla Ember, a woman I worked with in Arizona with the youth choir my junior year, was brutally attacked and stabbed in her home. After a long fight for her life Karla passed away the day before Erev Rosh Hashana. Of all the times I wish I could be in Arizona, this ranks the highest. While Rosh Hashana is a day of mixed emotions since it is a new year but at the same time is when you begin to atone for this sins over the past year my Rosh Hashana was even more grief stricken due to this sad news. Karla, I am thinking about you always, and you will always be in my heart. For those of you that may not be familiar with the Jewish faith, the following prayer is one that is said when someone passes away and is said on each following year during the week of their passing. This is for Karla and Edith Metzner. (Edith is Julia's one of my closest friends grandmother who also passed away during this month):


Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba. B’alma di vra chir’utei v’yamlich malchutei, b’chayeichon uvyomeichon uvchayei d’chol beit Yisraeil, ba’agala uvizman kariv, v’im’ru: Amein. Y’hei shmei raba m’vorach l’olam ulolmei almaya. Yitbarach v’yishtabach v’yitpa’ar v’yitromam v’yitnasei, v’yit’hadar v’yit’aleh, v’yit’halal, sh’mei d’kudsha, b’rich Hu. L’eila min kol birchata v’shirata, tushb’chata v’nechemata, da’amiran b’alma, v’im’ru: Amein. Y’hei shlama raba min sh’maya v’chayim aleinu v’al kol Yisraeil, v’im’ru: Amein. Oseh shalom bimromav, Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu, v’al kol Yisraeil, v’im’ru: Amein.

Yom Kippur: Yom Kippur was a whole other experience. The morning of Kol Nidre I went to the Shuk to get some fruit for the break fast I was having. Surprisingly the shuk wasn't very busy. Some may say well obviously! I say, not obviously! People still have to make a meal before the fast begins and need to have food for the break fast. Anyhoo...I know that's not why everyone is reading right now (since according to my mother everyone has been desperately waiting for this update!) So i returned home from the shuk and immediately began getting reading for the holiday. Since the time zone already changed here in Israel everything closed around 3pm. So i made pasta and a beef marinara sauce (I know there is a real name for it but I don't know how to spell it) and the sped out the door to make it to Kol Nidre on time. What is really interesting about Yom Kippur is that after 5:15pm it is illegal for any cars to be on the road. Since services started at 5 I didn't see the stillness of the city until after services were over. Services were amazing...not in the sense that they were any different that how services would be back home but the view we had was something I will never forget. We were fortunate enough to have a location where in front of our faces were the walls of the old city and we got to watch the sun go down during Kol Nidre over the old city. It was quite magical.

Now, I have never been one to enjoy sermons. Whenever I hear one I can never seem to pay attention the entire time. Sermons usually start off with an interesting story then somehow lose my attention when they begin to reference liturgical connections. This Kol Nidre was 100% different. Rabbi Yoshi Zweibeck...also the director of the Year in Israel Program gave a sermon that has changed my life. The sermons main point was about mastering our fears, because if we don't we won't be able to become the people that we are praying about on Yom Kippur. There are three components of fear: Balance, Truth, and Faith. How fear can cause us to stop breathing - bringing many people to their ultimate fear of death. How knowing something terrible is going to happen may make a person more fearful. How it is not coincidental that Sukkot is immediately following Yom Kippur because Yom Kippur is a time for vulnerability and fear; fear about whether or not we as Jews will be written into the book of life and how Sukkot / Z'man simchoteinu (time of happiness in Hebrew) immediately follows. Only 10 days out of the entire year are we allowed to be fearful and the rest are supposed to be days of happiness.

There was a story Yoshi told during his sermon about a close family to him and his family, also members of his congregants of his family. This family adopted a beautiful girl from china 6 months before that Yoshi had officiated at her conversion and named. 6 months after receiving this girl she had a massive caesurae and the impact of the cesurae was too great that she became brain dead. He related this to the greatest fear that any parent has and responded with the idea that sometimes when fear gets the best of you that is what can actually kill you.

Not to worry, I am asked Yoshi to send me a copy of his sermon. Most of the people sitting in the room were in tears by the end of the sermon, and I think once everyone reads it, they too will begin the task on conquering their fears. According to Yoshi, "today can be the last day of un-mastered fear".

After services I was excited to see what the empty streets of Jerusalem were like. No more crazy drivers and no more honking...silence. It was amazing. Many of us students walked down to Emek Refaim (the street I lived on) in the middle of the street. Once we reached Emek it was a vision you would have to see to believe. The street was flooded with a sea of people all in white. Everyone wishing each other a Shana Tova and smiling at one another. Kids were riding around on their bikes and people were laughing together. I have never seen anything like is I guess kind of similar to all the people on the road in Danville on the 4th of July...but the atmosphere was so much different.

The next morning I woke up and went to HUC again for services. As many of you know, it has become a "tradition" of mine to chant during the high holy days and this year that tradition didn't falter. I chanted the Haftarah, and of course...after learning the last two verses the night before, chanted rather successfully. While there wasn't as many people there as their are at services at Isaiah the feeling was equally amazing especially since I was in Jerusalem. From services I went home and took a nap (of course talked to the family) and then headed back to temple. Services ended at 6:30 and afterward about 10 of us went over to my friend Ryan's house to break the fast. It was amazing. Around 7:30 I found myself getting tired so headed home to do all the homework I didn't do over the holiday and found myself tired as usual for school this morning.

During the 10 days of the holiday I found myself somewhat struggling with my Jewish identity. I have noticed that many of my fellow classmates are more "religious" than I am. Meaning they keep Shabbat at the holidays and know many more prayers and traditions than I do. While in the beginning I found this to be frustrating about my Jewish education I realized that it is not how I was brought up that is frustrating, it's that we are all starting off on such different levels and I feel like there hasn't been much to integrate and bring us all up to the same level. I have also become more confident and satisfied with the Jew that I am. I am proud to be Jewish, but at the same time Judaism is something that is able to fit into my life. I love my life the way it is, and mainly because Judaism is in it, but I am not going to alter the person that I am (such as talking on the phone on shabbat, and not keeping kosher ect...) because of this religion. Judaism is something that makes me happy because the kind of Judaism that I practice fits to perfectly into the life i love and want to continue living, I shouldn't have to change who I am for Judaism. If I had to do that, Judaism would no longer be such a essential part of who I am.

This week we only have 3 days of school since we have a 10 day break for Sukkot. Unfortunately I won't be doing anything fun J.K.!!!!!!!!! I am going on a 6 day 5 night cruise to greece! woohoo!!!! so of course I will update you all about how that trip is.

This weeks funny:

my friends sam and leah and I were walking home from school one day and there was this little boy (probably 3 years old) peeing onto a tree. Now, of course peeing on a tree in public on a busy sidewalk isn't no no...this little boy thought the best option would be to twist his body left and right so that his pee would spray from end of the tree to another. yes...this really happened....

that's it for now!!! please keep your eyes open for the blog with Yoshi's sermon on it. I strongly encourage everyone to read it!!!!!!! all my love!


Friday, September 3, 2010

new country, new school, new hair....NEW WOMAN!

yes that is right, yours truly got a hair cut. As much as I swore I would never do it here because i didn't trust anyone i caved. I saw my friend Marina getting her hair cut and she has a similar face shape to me and once I saw how cute her hair looked and couldn't resist. So yes, I will be posting pictures of my new do on this blog plus pictures from Eilat. But for an update of how my first classes went that weren't Ulpan. I loved them. I walked out very happy. One of the classes the teacher talks very fast but he is so in to what he is teaching it is hard to not be enveloped in the information. And my Israel seminar teacher is amazing! but since I know everyone is dying to see the hair and picture from we go!!!!

Ashley and I
Ben and I. Dana told us we look like Edward and Bella from Twilight so we tried to make the faces....i am not sure how successful we actually were? Robynn...what do you think?
Toba and I.
Sam, Me, and Susie. Susie is a Cantorial student that I absolutely adore! She is actually going to be giving me voice lessons once the high holy days are over. She was on broadway for a number of years and starred in cats.
Marina and I with our new hair cuts!
Brian and I
Nina and I
It was Sharon's birthday so of course I have to take a picture with the birthday girl.
Ben and I. We are going to get married becuase of this picture...we are just too cute!
me at the bus station.
a little further away.
the red sea.
me with my snorkeling mask.
at this place you can order a drink from the bar and shop for a pair of jeans....i have never seen anything like it!
the hilton...i wish!
the hilton again.
this looked like the most amazing ride...but since i had just had food i didn't think going on a ride that flips you upside down multiple times was the best idea.
this thing moved if you paid 15 shekels!
there is shrimp in there! yummy!!! this was my dinner while in Eilat.
my friends had muscles lol.
instead of trying to get stuffed animals they are trying to get cigarettes....enough said.
the red sea!
Alexis, Sam, and Carlie on the beach.
look how clear the water!
that's jordan! crazy!!!

Carlie in my new hat. she was scared because there were birds inside the bus station.

That's it I hope you enjoyed!!!!