06 April 2008

Northern Exposure

This past Shabbat I finally got out of Jerusalem to somewhere other than Tel Aviv. I know I've been out of Jerusalem a lot. After all, I spent a ton of time with Shiran in and around Tel Aviv before she went to India (come home!), I went to the Dead Sea, and I also went to Ouch-That-Hertzeliya once. Ok, and I also went to London, Rome, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, but those countries are not in Israel. (I know you needed the geography lesson. I am an educator, after all.)

In all of this time, however, I hadn't traveled to the north of Israel. So, when the Conservative Yeshiva's learning community sponsored a weekend up at Kibbutz Hanaton, I was all about it. We stopped at Daliat al-Carmel on the way upstate (yes, upstate), had some Druzi pita and got stuff -- scarves, sweatshirts, a backgammon set -- everybody got something to bring back. Well, almost everybody. I got a pair of ridiculous pants that I will be wearing at camp, and otherwise not in public, so that was fun.
Rafi, Elie and I are happy campers on the bus at 9:30AM!
(Elie, if you can't tell, is Rafi's fabulous brother.)

I like this sign, because it said: "import production and marketing souvenirs." I feel like maybe that should be on their mission statement and not on a sign outside, but what do I know? I'm just a silly American grammar snob.

Dan S tests out his new recorder. He is adorable.
After a laffah (a really thin, great pita) with labane, za'atar and eggplant, I waited maybe an hour until I had ANOTHER laffah, this time with chocolate spread, although I did split it with one of the Rothberg Undergrad kids. Both laffahs, while not entirely necessary, were spectacular.

Once at Hanaton, I learned a game called Dutch Blitz. Thanks, Brandeis, for finding the hang-out-and-be-nerdy-game of the year (it's like Risk at UF AEPi in 2002*). It's terrific. Let's hear it for Amish games! I had a phone meeting before Shabbat started, and then made my way to lead Ma'ariv. My friend Dan complimented my leading skills, and it made me realize how I never lead services with the frequency I used to lead them.

*An AEPi boyfriend was so occupied with playing Risk in the Pi house, that when I said "Bye, I'm going to a JSU (Jewish Student Union) meeting," he nodded goodbye. When I came back, an hour and a half later, he asked why I hadn't left yet. Hmmm....This may be the nerdiest Jewish story of all time.

Rafi told me that this is Nazareth. Even if it's not, this is part of the view from my room. Also, it doesn't really matter because on our way back we got to ride on the Nazarene Express, which is Nazarethy enough for me!
One of the great things about being on a kibbutz is that there is still agriculture at your fingertips. See the tractor there? Also a view from my window.

The rest of Shabbat was lovely. I spent a lot of time hanging around with Team Rothberg: Undergrad! and the Schechter boys. I also got in a full three-hour nap before Minchah, which was beautiful. The ride back was fine, and being back in my own bed was terrific!

Elie defies the laws of physics to nap on the Nazarene Express bus ride back.

Back to Jerusalem and back to work. Such is life. Passover is VERY soon and I just cannot wait to get my hands on some matzah. OK, I was lying about the matzah...but I'm excited for the Jerusalem passover fun, which apparently includes street-side kashering (making kosher) for pots and utentils, and visits from a wide variety of parental units that aren't exactly related to me, but are fabulous nevertheless.

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