Saturday, May 1, 2010

One Fantastic Week

Someone told me yesterday that I have a creative soul. I hope that's true. Because I was thinking about writing a book. A book from the perspective of the soldier who I saw on my way back from the Gush the other day. I saw him -- I couldn't tell the color of his skin, he was standing in the dark, all I saw was his outline. He was a skinny guy, and he was turning, spinning, with his gun. He was playing -- he was a kid playing, only in a uniform, and with a gun. And suddenly I wanted to write his autobiography. I wanted to understand his life. But the car I was in kept right on driving, and he passed me by. Maybe someday I''ll find him as a character in a novel, or I'll write him into mine. For now, I'll have to make do with this blog.

Its been a long time since I last blogged. There's a good reason: The huge bonfire that the kids of the Yishuv built on LA"G B'Omer (they've been gathering sticks and furniture and brush since Pesach...) burned through internet cable of Alon. I mean, really!? Alon didn't have internet for 3 days. Painful. In any case, I've (obviously?) been through a lot since I last posted. Done a lot, thought a lot, just...a lot. Right now I am sitting on Derech Aza sipping tea (delicious! ginger, lemon, nana) and thinking about what I want to do with my life. I've recently been considering a career in journalism as opposed to academia. I guess what it comes down to is that I just want to write (as can be surmised from my prologue to this blog). Maybe I'll just do this for a living. Sit, drink tea, and write a blog. Who needs money anyway?

All kidding aside: What have I been up to, you ask? I shall describe in brief -- It's been sort of political, so get ready...

Two Shabbatot ago...
I went to Talmon.
Talmon is a settlement.
A real settlement.
Not a Gush Etzion going-to-be-included-in-any-future-borders-of-the-state-of-Israel settlement, not an Alon mixed-religious-non-religious-progressive settlement.
A real settlement.
It sits on what used to be Arab land.
It restricts the Arab access to its 200 year old olive trees.
And its in the middle of nowhere.
Mode'in, a half an hour away, up and down a windy road, is the "big city".
Mode'in, for those who have never been there, is really just an small, ugly version of Miami without the beach.
There's a mall in Mode'in, and a park, and...well, that's it.
So Talmon was an interesting place to visit.
And my friend's (code name: Madeline) family is hilarious. So I had fun nonetheless.

I fear that this style of writing might make this blog post look longer than, well, than it should. So I'm going revert to my previous paragraphing style.

So - that was Talmon. This shabbat I was in Jerusalem. But there was everything in between that -- everything before that we're just going to ignore for now...there was a lot of mayan swimming, my birthday, LA"G B'Omer, friends coming to visit me in midrasha, fox sightings (Abba: I've now seen a fox twice on my runs - once at night and once in the day. I think of you and Rabbi Akiva every time) and learning, of course, lots of learning. And, on top of it all, it's getting hot. Too hot. Running is not fun when its hot. And it's even hot at night. Today I ran during the day (10:30 am, since I didn't wake up for my pre-"daf yomi" run at 6:15 and I was annoyed with myself) and I could only do one go-round -- and even so, at the end, I was gasping. The tyrannical cloudheat creeps into ones flesh and burns one from the inside...slowly. Roasting.

MUSIC in my life
But last week - last week was packed: I went to a marathon of concerts in Gan Saker for Yom HaStudent which took place on the eve of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day which commemorates the 1967 reunification East and West Jerusalem by the Israelis). I got a student-priced ticket, and hung out with some of my "peeps" enjoying Monica Sex, The Ramirez Brothers, Geva Alon, and I missed (to my great pain) HaDag HaNachash and Ehud Banai at the end. There were a number of American bands (like Cool and the Gang -- I kid you not) that were, as they say, "bli kesher l'klum" - totally disconnected from anything and everything Israeli and probably had come that night to Gan Saker because they had run out of venues in America.

Yom Yerushalyim
On Jerusalem Day itself, I had a tour of the old city of Jerusalem on the day itself, was disturbed (as usual) by the storm that rages in its ancient, narrow passages, and reminded of its painful, divided history. And the next day...I went to Bethlehem (....yes) as a facilitator for Encounter ....HOLD UP. WHAT!? What did you do, Elisheva!? WHAT!? Yes. Ok here I must pause and insert some explanation -- actually, no. I'll leave the explanation for another day. And on that other day maybe I'll tell you about all the weird creepy-crawlers that I've discovered in the desert and elsewhere. They really are bizarre, and sometimes beautiful. Someone should remind me. In the meantime I'll give you this song by Geva Alon called Modern Love, his most well known work, I believe.

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