Now Playing: Cranberries- Ode to my family
It's true...MY BROTHER IS HERE IN ISRAEL!!!!! And it's so nice to have him here. It's really a great feeling just having him here in my apartment, being at school with me, meeting all my friends, and getting a real glimpse at what my life this year is like.
Tuesday morning my friend Lisa and her mom and I drove to the airport (yup...I rented a car!!!) to pick Jeffrey up. The new terminal is beautiful and it was great getting to meet him at the airport. Then we all drove down to Masada and the Dead Sea. The Judean desert is absoutely beautiful!!!! We also had to stop in the middle of the road because goats were crossing with their shephard. It was a little surreal. When we got to Masada we hiked up the Roman Ramp and spent about an hour on top looking at the ruins and enjoying the scenery. Then we decided to go have lunch in Arad and Jeffrey had his first official falafel...the boy just loves it!!! At least one of us does....
By the time we got to the Dead Sea, it was about 4pm and the sun was beginning to set. Now, despite what many people told me....the weather and the water was freezing!!!! But all four of us got in anyway!!!! We weren't in for too long, but it was really fun for the 10 minutes we were in.
Yesterday I drove Lisa's mom to the airport and then Jeffrey and I came home and went grocery shopping like true Israelis (meaning we had a car with us, instead of having to take a cab or walking with a million groceries). That was so liberating, and it made me feel like a civilized person who truly lives in Israel!!! Then, last night we went to my professor Paul's house to participate in a simulation game for my Contemporary Middle Easter culture class....so fascinating and fun!!!
This morning I let Jeffrey sleep in while I took a hebrew test, and then he met me at school and we walked to the Old City. We went though the Armenian and Jewish quarters and then down to the Western Wall. It was so cool to see all of my brother's reactions to everything, including the wall. There is really nothing like that first time of being there, and it's nice to be reminded of that every once in a while. I think tonight we are going to go out and do our usual Thursday night activities which include dinner, going to Zolly's (bar), and then maybe Heleni's for dancing or a movie or something. I gotta show my brother how rabbincal students have fun!!!!!
I've realized a lot of new and interesting things since having a visitor here. For one, I really do know a lot of hebrew and can converse very well and translate very well for him. I'm so used to being with others that speak at least some hebrew, but it's a totally different experience being in this country with someone who really doesn't understand any of it. It's really nice to feel like i have such a grasp of the language that I can be a good translator..YAY HEBREW!!!! Second, driving here was so much fun!!!! I mean, israeli's are some of the craziest drivers I have EVER encountered and they will come all up in your lane (even when you are in your own lane) but it's really given me a sense of normalcy here. Driving back from Tel Aviv yesterday morning, just me and the highway, and my cd's was so nice and very relaxing...and totally liberating!!! It made me feel like I really live here. And on the way home from the Dead Sea, I only got lost once...but don't worry, we turned back before we got too close to the West Bank. I think I might rent a car more often!!!!!!
Third, I haven't been to class so much in the last few days, but that's okay. My semester is almost over, and a lot of my work is done, so it's not such a big deal. Next week I'll be in class more, and I'll book more independent tours for Jeffrey so he can get to see more of the city than I really have time or knowledge to show him. Finally, I realized that I really do know a lot about this city, and I'm learning so much about Judaism and about Israel and about being a rabbinical student, and I think these changes are pretty evident. It's nice to get have an outside indicator of how I'm growing, maturing, what I'm learning, and what I'm doing.
Okay, well I think we are going to nap a bit before we go out tonight. I'll try to update again in the next few days. For now, just go check out our pictures from the past few days (we have lots!!!) and have a great day!!!! :)