05 December 2007

"Celebrity" as Defined by SBB

Today's the second day of Chanukah! See? The Kooky Family glows a little brighter today!

School was OK today. In class, I said that I was "moderately religious" and one of my classmates said, "Aww, that's so cute" and I didn't smack her for being rude, so I considered that a success.

I was kind of bummed that I wasn't going to see Chancellor Arnie Eisen from JTS, as he was speaking at Hebrew U during my Hebrew class. I came to Hebrew and said hi to Yanik, the French guy who is a rockstar at learning Hebrew. He asked me what was up (all in Hebrew), and I told him I was sad that the "President" (Nasi / נשי - not sure how to spell that) of my school in NY was speaking during Hebrew class. I later learned that the word for Chancellor is Nagid / נגיד. I keep a-larnin'. Anyway, Yanik told me I was being silly, and I should go to the speech. So I talked to my teacher, and she told me it was ok, took my homework, and sent me to the speech. I really do have wonderful Hebrew teachers.

Eisen spoke about social activism, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Luther King. It was fascinating, and I think he's such an articulate, engaging speaker. I learned new things about Heschel, like that he marched with MLK (see the picture on wikipedia!).

Normal people get excited over star sightings (and even I'll regale you with my story of my John Linnell, of They Might Be Giants fame, sighting in a Manhattan Starbucks), but for me to hear a Jewish Educator speak...well, that's the real excitement for me! Furthering my excitement, Eisen was introduced and MC'ed by none other than Michael Rosenak, whose articles on Israel trips for teens and whose term "flooding out" describes how I operate. It was incredible.

I went to the last 15 mintues of Hebrew and picked up my assignments. My last class of the day started with homemade sufganiyot (jelly donuts, remember?) and we talked about Jewish identity and I said things that some of my classmates found appalling, so all in all, that class was good, too! The professor let us out a little early so we could light candles closer to sundown, and I lit with Rafi a little while later.

Rafi, Rafi's brother's girlfriend and I had dinner with some of Rafi's family friends, which was really special and tasty. It was nice to meet some of the celebrities of his family's collective life. Special foods for Chanukah were served, and since I'm a sucker for a good latke, I was very happy with the meal! Homemade applesauce like Bubbie and I make, and special Chanukah cookies closed out the day.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Chanukah wherever you're celebrating it, or if you're not celebrating it, then you're enjoying a jelly donut! They are, after all, really famous.

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