Sunday, May 28, 2006


....and the lack of it.

I am always trying to figure out how I'm going to make it through the week -- when I will get my shopping done, when I can wash the floor (which, because of the construction outside, is dusty as hell -- we won't even discuss the furniture), when I can make something somewhat healthy for mealtimes, when....well, the idea of actually sitting down to read a book or watch a movie is just not even on the list!

Last week, I was in a marathon to get everything (Shabbat cooking and cleaning) done before Friday morning, because we had to go down to Latrun (near Jerusalem) for Avishai's "tekkas" for his "course ma'akim". Translated....the ceremony which marks the end of his 4-month course as a non-commissioned officer. Kind of like a sargent in the American army.

Once again, he'd come home and tell me what they had the guys do, and I'd be thinking "my baby!" and he'd just kind of brush it off and say "oh, hafif", meaning "ah, it was nothing". What do they mean, nothing? Why can't they do the training AND let the boys get their 8 hours of sleep nightly? Even if they have to train out in the sun, why can't they make sure that the boys have proper food? I mean, honestly! If I didn't worry that Avishai would use his army training to kill me, I'd call the commander!

Anyway, he finished, and now has 3 stripes on his uniform. The "tekkas" was...ok, let's call a spade a spade. A total waste of time. Plus it was hot. Plus travelling with Margalit is never simple...travelling makes her ADD act up. But, what the hell. It was important to Avishai, and if he can go 48 hours with no sleep, navigate in the heat with a ton of equipment on his back, do 30 mile hikes carrying some guy on a stretcher...well, I can go down to Latrun for a morning.

This week, in addition to thinking about loosing a day at the end of the week for Shavouth, and thinking about the extra cooking, I also have to think about another trip to brother Dov's baby's bris. An 8:30a.m. bris, meaning that unless I want to start driving at an ungodly 6:00a.m. (at the very least), we'll have to go to Jerusalem tonight and stay over. So, that's what we'll do. Thank goodness for the Livnot campus, and my access...we just need to make sure that it'll be open, or, at the very least, that someone will leave a key out for us. The getting there and back isn't the biggest's the planning that puts me over the top. That, and trying to figure out how to squeeze in everything else that I have to do this week.

Blessings for my rental room, which is allowing me to buy gifts where needed, travel where needed, loan the kids money when they need it (and not realistically expect to be repaid), etc. I just got another call for several days in June -- hurray!

The streets around here are full of tourists -- this is the best year in many years for tourism. A lot of the tourists are youngsters, high school and college kids, and there are hundreds of birthrighters around. Last week, one of the local "schnoorers", a Hassidic "rebbe" from San Francisco (he says that he's decended from a Hassidic rabbincial line from Romania, and his family dropped their yiddishkeit after the Holocaust) was standing in his usual corner, panhandling. (He asks for tzdekka for local families, he says...probably true. He himself seems pretty well-set). Anyway, despite his extremely Hassidic look, he's got a lot of San Francisco still in him (where he grew up and passed through the '60s -- probably NOT as a hassid) so last week, as he stood around in his "uniform" asking for money from a group of American college kids on birthright trips, he suddenly found himself being photographed by 42 shutterbugs. I mean, honestly, he does make a good photo opportunity. And he enjoyed it (he's from SF, after all). And then, the kids started dancing with him and singing Jewish songs...those who weren't dancing were photographing.

As my father used to say about the Gur Hassid who used to live in Oak Park MI., the City should pay this guy as a tourist attraction!

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