Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Slave and me. He was one of your waiters.
Faith and Me...one 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
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.
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
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 it...it 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 enough...no 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
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.