The Ma'ayan I (natural spring); Back to the Source
So I'm living next to what they call Nachal Prat in Hebrew, and Wadi Qelt in Arabic. It's a beautiful place of flowing water that soon, methinks, will not be so flowing. But on Friday I was able to trekk down for the first time. Or so I thought. Turns out I'd been there before with Migdal Oz 2+ years ago. But, as they say in Hebrew, lo norah. I enjoyed myself. My friend, lets call her Sharazzaldazzle, doesn't swim in mixed company, so she and I went deeper into the wild and found a little spot where it was deep where we dipped and dove. The dog of the yishuv had followed us and napped as we swam. His name is, of all things, Adoni (which, hilariously, means "my master" and is a polite way of addressing someone who you don't know. Sort of like "sir" in America. Yet some people accidentally mispronounce the name and it ends up sounding like, well, you know...ineffable). In any case, Adoni was our guard, and he stayed with us the whole time, cavorting and swimming and barking at other dogs. Great fun.
The Ma'ayan II; Song of Songs
I went down to the ma'ayan again yesterday during our mid-day break and spent two hours reading Shir HaShirim. Mostly with people who had never read it before. It was an amazing experience for three. First, everyone understod the Hebrew (more or less). Second, because the poetry is beautiful and everyone was just amazing by the power of the words of a man who wrote when the Temple was still in their backdoor. Third, because they knew chunks of it by heart. There are all sorts of songs that would just burst out when we would come upon a pasuk (verse) that they recognized from here or there. I suppose I still have a lot to learn. Aside: On the way back up in the car (this time we had a car) we were driving so slowly that a cop car honked and passed us. Oh Israel.
After classes on anarchy in shoftim, post-modernism in chassidut, Greek customs in the pesach seder, Shabbat came as a welcome day of rest. And it was lovely, for the most part. A bit strange at times, but then again, what shabbat of mine in the recent past hasn't been strange?! I went to synagogue in Alon on Shabbat morning when there just happened to be - of all things - a Moroccan Bar Mitzvah with screaming aunts and crying cousins and hard candy thrown at random across the mechitza. So I plucked up my courage towards the end of Mussaf and I turned to the row of (very) old Moroccan women chattering behind me in Darija and I asked where they were from in Morocco. In Arabic. Turns out the one I asked was actually living in Canada, but not to worry, the first question she asked me was certainly not "what's your name?" or "where are you from?" but - of course - "are you married?" To which I responded (stupidly) "not yet..." Sooooo she proceeded to tell me that she had someone for a shidduch and blah blah blah.....I thanked her and turned back around, chuckling to myself that I'd learned nothing in my two months in Masr and four and a half months in the Magreb. I still hadn't learned to tell people that I'm married. Or at least engaged.
The adjective "adkani" means "current" or "up to date". It's a fusion of the words "ad" "kan" and the letter "yud" to indicate adjectival use. I've learned the Hebrew words for "linguistic turn," "surplus value", "Freudian slip", "castration", and "jock itch" and "halo" which, if you put different vowels on the Hebrew letters, might well be the word itself. Oh, and I learned that when Israelis throw English words into their sentences (something they permit me to do, but only because I'm not really Israeli) they are said to have their "Capslock stuck", a turn of phrase I found quite amusing.
Oh and I just discovered a chameleon (for real: bright green with yellow stripes, funny toes and a head like a dinosaur) outside climbing on my friend's shoes. It excited everyone greatly. Which is often what I feel like. A chameleon. (No, Es, not that kind of chamleon) I change not how I look each time I go to a new place - Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, America, Israel - but how I look at the world. Recently my perspective has been one of K'naan: "Any who knows a thing knows he knows not a thing at all"...."When I get older, I will be stronger, they'll call me freedom just like a waving flag" So here you are....K'naan's NPR tiny desk concert for you today.