Sunday, April 11, 2010


I got back to Israel in the middle of the night four days ago. A lot has happened. I will relate snippets:

I met a girl in the airport. She was dressed in a floppy hat, leggings, a sweater with holes that hung loosely from her slight figure, and boots -- all in black. She was in front of me in the security line. As we put on our shoes together we became friends. Her boots were lace-ups. All the way to the knee. I hope I see her again some day.

I met an Israeli woman currently living in Los Angeles on the flight from Paris to Tel Aviv. A talker. But I didn't mind. She talked in Hebrew. She talked about her children - she has five daughters - and how proud she is of them. She talked about her Moroccan friends (once it came to light that I had been in Morocco not long ago) and their delicious foods. She talked about her divorce some years ago. She talked about her new love interest in Paris. She talked about love and genius. She talked about life after death and about reincarnation. She talked about how she was raised with little religion and now, in her fifties, has begun to find it a fulfilling exercise. She talked about her desire to keep Shabbat. She talked about finally feeling "grown-up". It was an odd sort of conversation...or listening experience, lefachot (at least).

I met a guy in the sheirut (collective taxi) to Jerusalem. Turns out he's almost finished with medical school and doing his residency in Philly next year. "Oh, really!" said I. And then we chatted. What a small, small Jewish world this is.

Today we had "Sport Class". "Sport Class" consists of an hour and a half of hemshechistim (that's what they call us 'round here) running around like out-of-shape chickens with their heads still on. I enjoy this time. Really I do.

Also, I had my first Ein-Prat chug (educationally enriching activity -- yes, that's the translation my Ulpan [read: my chavruta] found on Babylon). Earlier this week we chose from a list of six or so options. I chose "Listening to Classical Music" as my chug. The chug-master is also our ancient Greek literature teacher and is - if I do say so - both classy and a classicist. It was a glorious chug.

When I got back to Ein Prat the first thing I wanted to do was go for a run. There is a path that circles Alon, said to be between 2.6 and 3 kilometers. It overlooks the hills that roll down to the Dead Sea to the southeast and dip and crest towards Jericho to the northeast. The songs of these runs are the soundtrack of my pesek zman at Ein Prat. Today I share with you one of those songs -- this one's a surprise...

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