Sunday, August 14, 2011

One More Day!

Yes, that's all we have left, one more day.  We have been enjoying our last week here very much - cramming in as much fun and new memories as possible while revisiting old favorites.

Stacy, Howard, Leorah, and Peri were here for Friday night Shabbat dinner. They brought us yummy Marzipan rugelach, and we enjoyed spending time together.  We tried a "Bratslav" type synagogue but it was hot and boring.  Why didn't they have the air conditioning on?  The women's section was particularly isolated with a very dense wood grate mechitza covering the balcony windows.  Ruchie, our friend from Ofra, told me that her rabbi said with a balcony you don't need any additional screening, but I haven't seen any open balconies here yet.  On Saturday we touched two places.  One in our neighborhood that our wine steward at Gabriel restaurant said was excellent (it wasn't for us) and the Ashkenazi one in Yemin Moshe.  It was a very familiar feeling service but the women's section off to the side had yet another very think mechitza and I couldn't see a thing.

Today we took one last trip to the Old City.  It was not as crowded as it has been in the past.  We stopped for chocolate at Max Brenner in the Mamilla Mall where I got a "chocolata italika.' It was delicious.  Micah and Jonah got their chocolate syringes.  :-)  We then walked through the Arab market down to the Jewish Quarter, picked up a few last minute gifts for people, and went to the Wall.  We had all written one last prayer for the Kotel. Unfortunately, the women's section was SO crowded that I couldn't even get close to the Wall.  The men's section had a lot of open space so I called Jonah over to the mechitza and gave him my note to put in the Kotel.  Another disappointing visit to Judaism's holiest site for me.  Guess it's just not my thing.

We have a few fast food meals left to enjoy down on Emek Refaim.  Today I finally had New Delhi for the first time but I was disappointed in the Philly Steak Sandwich that was way too peppery.  Tomorrow I'll have Re:Bar for lunch and possibly some sushi for dinner.  Or I may get some soup at Magic Carpet (Marvad Haksamim).  I haven't decided yet.  Tonight BG (Barbara Goldstein from Hadassah) is taking us out to Olive and Fish where we almost went with Deborah Reback but it was too crowded.  Should be yummy!

I was sad to finish out ulpan at the Conservative Yeshiva.  It was great learning every day.  Our teachers were very creative which I really enjoyed.  We learned through songs, stories, "thoughts of the day," and beginner newspaper articles.  We used our book a little bit as well.  It was a very nice atmosphere for me.

I am saddest of all to leave Jerusalem. I had to adjust quite a bit to living here in this urban lifestyle but I b'emet (really really) love it here and can't believe that our 4 months in Israel are ending so soon.  I've enjoyed so many aspects of living here and know that if we could, I wouldn't mind living here.  There will be a lot of tears shed over the next few days.  Much as I look forward to coming home, seeing friends, reconnecting with the TBA community, the JM community,and the local Hadassah community, getting to know the CCJDS community, and just starting regular life again, I will mamash (really really) miss living here.  It's wonderful to enjoy such an extended vacation in such a special place.

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