Second Shabbat in Rechavia

My second Shabbat in Rechavia was very nice, mostly spent making new friends, seeing old ones, and desperately trying to beat the heat.

On erev Shabbat, I walked with my roommate and a number of her friends to Hamoshav Hagermanit (along Emek Refaim) to daven at Shira Hadasha. This is an ostensibly orthodox minyan which started up in 2002 which sought to give a much more significant leadership role to women in tefillah. Although they preserve the mechitza separating men from women, during Friday night tefillah, a woman leads Kabbalat Shabbat and a man leads Ma’ariv. The minyan has generated its share of controversy in the Orthodox world, but this has probably made it only that much more popular.

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Shabbat with Family and Friends

I spent this past Shabbat staying with good friends in Nahlaot near the center of town. This allowed me to do two wonderful things, 1) spend some great time with good friends who are unfortunately leaving soon to return to the United States, and 2) spend quality time with my family that is in town visiting this week (aunt, uncle, cousins, and kids).

The weekend went a bit like this: I met up with my friends Erev Shabbat to drop my things off at there place. From there I made my way to Rehavia where my family is staying. We met up there with my cousins who now live in Efrat and made our way to a minyan located in a really beautiful outdoor venue. It is a garden and playground of sorts surrounding what my cousin’s wife tells me is a music hall. I’ll have to check it out again during the week. It’s not too far from where I will be living. The davening was in a lively Carlebach style led by my cousin who was clearly and completely in his element. From there we made our way back to their apartment for dinner. Late in the evening, I walked back to my friends’ place to crash for the night.

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Sof HaShavua – The Weekend

After a late night in Gan HaAtzmaut last night watching the Big Lebowski, it was a relief to not have class this morning. I slept in until the “late” hour of 9 and then got the day started…

Just a word or two about the event yesterday evening. It was all outdoors projected onto a huge inflatable screen. There was a fenced-off area for the audience, but since we brought glass bottles with us, we were not allowed in. Regardless, we got a great view from the hill overlooking the park. That’s called having your beer and drinking it too. 🙂

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Israeli Film and Viva España

First, a quick backtrack on the weekend. Shabbat was really wonderful. I spent most of it with friends in a nearby neighborhood, at their place for dinner on Friday and again for lunch on Saturday; great food, wonderful conversation, lovely company, excellent scotch. In-between my sojourns out of HaGivat HaTzorfatit (a friend has corrected my previously flawed grammar), I slept here and went to the nearby synagogue for davening on Saturday morning.

This Shabbat we finished Sefer Bamidbar and will begin Sefer Devarim… which means that Rosh HaShanah is already just around the corner. We also begin the 9 days leading up to Tisha b’Av, a fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem as well as many other calamities experienced by the Jewish people in ancient and modern times. During this time, Jews traditionally abstain from celebrations, eating meat, and drinking alcohol. A little self-control never hurt anyone.

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A Day Without Ulpan is Like…

…Friday in Israel. Taking advantage of my first day off since last Shabbat, I slept until the late hour of 9:30. Pretty amazing, I know.

The morning was spent studying, doing homework, and ensuring everything is in order for the rest of the weekend. Come the early afternoon, I took the bus into the city to meet a bunch of friends from Chicago, some of whom live here now and some of whom are visiting for the month.

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