So I finally have some downtime! First I will start where I left you last time, on the cab back to the Yeshiva. I met up with Sara from home and had dinner with her and one of her fellow Cantorial students. They are so in for an amazing year. I cannot help but to feel a little envy of the journey they are starting. They are in for a great ride. I ordered my first meal in Hebrew as well! Now I just need to learn numbers so I can feel more comfortable at the shuk. I figure at the pace we are at in Ulpan and where it is in the book the ETA on that is Tuesday.
That means of course I have to take the bus to Tel Aviv to visit a Lawyer for family business. First I went to the Shuk and bought kiddush wine first thing in the morning before the insane Friday crowds for Shabbat. Hopefully I bought something decent. I will find out. Brent and I decided on a menu for Shabbat lunch that he will pickup and I will make. Sounds good. So off I go to Tel Aviv. I always like to watch the countryside, so of course on the ride over some lady decides that she needs the shade down. Perhaps I am insufficiently rude to not just put it back up. I relented and tried to look out another window.
Did someone mention the weather in Tel Aviv is rather inhospitable? The air today decided to be so humid you could cut it with a knife. I pushed through thanking myself for dressing in cool clothing. I had a very productive meeting with the Lawyer I think and then I decided to enjoy Tel Aviv for a little bit before heading back. First things first.
!!אני רוצה גלידה
So I found this lovely little place around the corner. They had Halva and pistachio ice cream. Oh my! Yum! Of course you need a picture of this heaven. What can I say? It helped.
I found lunch after. I decided that after eating a mountain of pita and hummus for lunch I needed a change. So I found this place just up from the ice cream. A massive delicious asian salad after, I was quite satisfied. Again, the food here is ridiculous. I strolled around Tel Aviv heading back to the bus station since I would rather not be stuck in Tel Aviv and it is rather hot. So I stopped in this very interesting health food store and a mall I have not been too before. It was all so interesting. I have become obsessed with strolling around Israel on foot. I did not have the time in Tel Aviv on my previous trip as it was mostly programmed material, so I intend to make the most of it.
My stroll back to the bus involved finding the most shady path I could find. I was getting the point of desperately needing a juice. Why is it there are so many juice bars in Tel Aviv and I picked the one path without one? Oh well. I got to the bus and on my ride back I actually got a view. As we passed by the "hill" on the way out of town, I could not help but to stop and think of my previous trip here.
That "hill" happens to be a gigantic mound of trash. Israel seemed to think it was a good idea at its beginning to put the bulk of its trash in a mound just outside of Tel Aviv. It of course became unmanageable. In the meantime, they have this huge mound. Israel still has a trash problem. There are cages for bottles and paper everywhere, but recycling is a joke compared to home. I generate easily 5 times the trash I do at home. I bring my canvas bags, and yet everywhere I go they try to give me a plastic bag with my purchase. Also, I do not understand why the same Tnuva feta cheese I buy in Los Angeles has triple the packaging here. I just leave them and hopefully the places I visit frequently will get the hint. I recommend reading the wikipedia article on it if you want to learn more. Find it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiriya. While Israel is going to rehabilitate it into a massive park, the problem of the ridiculous amount of trash this tiny country generates remains. It is depressing to say the least.
I came back to Jerusalem and decided to take a different route home than the direct one. Again, I got to see so much more of Jerusalem. I so enjoy just walking. I get to see so much of the rich flavor of the country. I braved the shuk one last time before Shabbat. Oh my! There were hundreds of Birthright participants there. I had to ask if my friend Mike was there since he runs one of the trips back in LA. It inspired me to email him to see when he is going to be in town. I know he is coming. I picked up a couple supplies for tonight's dinner and some fruit for the weekend. I came home after and crashed for a bit. I intended to find a local service, but woke up at 6:30. Ooops! I at least get to have Shabbat dinner with some fellow yeshiva students. He was most generous and was made sure there was sufficient goodness for Mr. Vegetarian. It reminds me of how wonderful Shabbat is. It is definitely something that needs to made a regular thing in LA. I ended up leading us in Kiddush. There is something I definitely need to practice. Yet more work for me. Hooray! Of course, the wine was again awful. I would describe it as battery acid with sugar in it. I never thought I was say I missed the swill we drink in America, but there it is. I am sticking to decent Israeli moscatos from now on. As long as it is kosher and not dry, I am happy. What a lovely Shabbat evening. It was just amazing just sitting there bonding with my fellow Yeshiva students. What a lovely evening.
The next morning I dusted myself off and went to Moreshet Yisrael for services. It was a pleasant enough service. I did enjoy listening to Cantors from across America lead the davening. It gives me a very interesting look at the differences between them and back at home. It was quite interesting. My afternoon was a nice and quiet one just hanging out with Brent. I of course the previous day prepared a nice Shabbat lunch. I look forward to hosting next week. I did manage to sneak a little Ulpan review in. In terms of Shabbat, unless someone decides to correct me I put Ulpan review in the category of Talmud Torah and therefore permitted and encouraged on Shabbat. I did not write anything so there. I put it out there to any Rabbi out there who may be reading this to correct me if I am wrong. So that was my weekend. I have a long week ahead so I went to bed early this time. That and I had nothing planned.