Today, I worked on my JTS class (yes, those HAVE started and I HAVE been doing work), by half-composing a paper and talking to the teacher on Skype. I'm having Lingo phone issues, but Skype is pretty cool.
Anyway, after Curriculum & Instruction Gone Wild (You Try It! OK, that's an Interlaken joke.), Allison and I went to downtown to chase some paper, snack and eventually join up with the Conservative Yeshiva (literally "to sit," a yeshiva is a traditional Jewish learning environment characterized by chevruta, or paired, study) kids. We were joining them on the bus to the house and sukkah of the Yeshiva Director (OK, I can't remember her title offhand.) and her family. The bus ride was looooong, considering we were going out to a suburb that could have been 20 minutes away. The 4:15 departure time wasn't, apparently, a hard 4:15, as we pulled out closer to 4:50. The driver wasn't, apparently, familiar with the city of Jerusalem, as he took us in a 30-minute circle to the Yeshiva before we went on a very roundabout route to the suburban home and sukkah. The sukkah meal was great, and Rafi and his roommate even joined in on the fun for part of the time.
In an effort to remind you, my dear readers, that Israel is a complex country, filled not just with Israeli dancing and falafel, but humorous ironies as well, I make sure to point out the varied hilarities I encounter in this fair land, such as Sara Beth = not religious, or Tel Aviv = Not Kosher (more on that in vignette #2 below), Allison and I noticed a few things during our bus ride, thanks to a little magazine called Time Out ISRAEL and a potentially loudly braying animal known as a donkey.
The gentle handler leads his donkey to SuperSol, a grocery store. In downtown Jerusalem, it is apparently not uncommon to be exposed to a biblical ass (heh)...
...although this one was not (ostensibly) preventing the cursing of the people Israel. (Parshat Chukat-Balak, Numbers 22-25...Oh, yeah, that's right. I AM a Torah Scholar.)
Vignette #1: I was just meeting Allison's Yeshiva friends, before we boarded the bus, when I pointed out the donkey found on every corner in Jerusalem. (No, seriously. OK, not seriously about donkeys on every corner. But there really was a donkey at Agron and King George, although at first glance, I thought it was once of those tiny ponies.) This donkey, allegedly, was being taken to Netanya. This did not stop the cops from questioning the boy with a stick who was leading the donkey down Agron Street. (Pictures courtesy of Allison B.)
Vignette #2: Time Out ISRAEL seems like it will be handy if we ever snag a current issue. We still read through it to see what restaurants and hot spots our fair city has to offer. The Jerusalem restaurant page was filled with KOSHER stamps after restaurant names. The Tel Aviv restaurant page had one on two full pages of restaurants (this does not include Ye Olde Neighborhood Falafel Shoppe). After I noticed that, I pointed out to Allison that all the ads for restaurants in Tel Aviv featured treif (nonkosher/deadly to SBB) food -- the delectable oyster, the pearly pink shrimp. What did I learn from Time Out ISRAEL? I must bring my Epi Pen to Tel Aviv!
In other news, people keep on telling me they're reading my beelog. I want to say hi to Michelle, and welcome the rest of you SBB-loving readers (who can blame you?) to leave comments saying hi! Let's have a contest...let's see who can leave me the funniest note. Just please sign your name or initials, so I can check you off on my naughty/nice lists.