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Showing posts from August, 2020

on the road of the forefathers

The Dean David Bernstein gave a shiur on a text in the Talmud dealing with the sanctity of books and the importance of saving those from a fire - even on a Shabbat! He compared that commandment to our work of saving the Knowledge of Jewish text in this world where there is the lowest Jewish text literacy since the giving of the Torah. After the Deans shiur I hurried to Pardes, the place where I will be studying. Its on the third floor of this building and as you see, Pardes is building a larger newer campus right next to it, to accommodate all the masses of people who share the passion of learning Torah.  After getting inside the building... and getting to the third floor, I picked up my registration packet and headed to meet with other Pardesniks to go to the Tayelet and meet with the whole Year Program participants. We had to wear masks while walking together. I didn't really see the point of it, but it was their wish and I respected that. There were also some older people walkin

first visit to the city

After breakfast I went out to exchange some Euros to Shekel and to send a package someone gave me in the mail. On the way I passed throw the Mamila mall and now I know what everyone is talking about when they say Mamila. I didn't feel like my knowledge of Jerusalem, my city of birth, was complete without this. The weather outside was very hot (there is a heatwave here in Israel right now) and I am desperately in need of a day sleep, but we are having our Opening Circle with the Pardes Year program and I am meeting all the people I will be learning Torah with this year! Here are some impressions of my visit to the city. That is a random beautiful street on the way to the post office: That's a panorama of the central post office: In the Mamila mall there were beautiful art sculptures but sadly I didn't manage to make pictures as I was in a little hurry.  Also today I learned that taking the bus in Jerusalem isn't necessarily the fastest option. Thus, I am still looking fo


I slept on a very comfortable couch, because the flatmate whose place I am taking hasn't moved out yet. I wake up I wash my face and hands and step outside on the balcony. That same familiar smell hits me, warm air that says "You're home in Israel". The apartment is a little messy. A little too messy for me. I didn't take my home shoes, so I decide to buy a pair as soon as I can. I have lived at home with my parents for the last two months so you could say that I am spoiled regarding cleanliness. I suppose I will have to lower my expectations in this regard but I will definitely address that topic.  I look through the cupboards and fridge and choose myself some Tnuva Joghurt with Cheerios and silan. I also make myself a cup of earl grey. I can't find real milk so I use the oat milk. It's better than I expected. 


Descending to the Land of Israel I was listening to Ma Vlast La Moldau, the musical father of Israels national anthem, and then to Hatikvah by even hashsiah, a rock version of the national anthem.  Arriving at the airport, we had to fill out the health declaration form, which one of the airport staff just told me to tick yes everywhere without even explaining to me the meaning of the questions. Then there were those machines that print your entry permit. Before the actual passport control there were Magen David Adom staff checking temperature. The border control didn't want to know anything about my army status. All in all, I remember arriving in Israel being connected to many more questions than have been asked of me today. When I get to the baggage cliam, my suitcases are already there and I collect them. I call the taxi driver that I have booked and he tells me to go to the exit on the 3rd floor. So I shlepp my suitcases (40kilo) up 3 stories with the esc

the next leg

The moment you realize you speak Yiddish because you're fluent in German. Then moment that random chossid approaches you and starts small talk. Why? G-d knows! He asks if I am Chabad. I say yes. He wonders if there are any Jews in Germany. I haven't told him where I'm from, so it must have spoke around already (I spoke to a youngster before that). I find out that they (who, I wonder) send groups of charedim to slaughter meat in Poland which then is imported to Israel for the charedi community.  The moment they start eating semitchki in the airplane. We take off with a delay, but that funny feeling starts getting stronger and stronger.  Look up the term Fremdsch√§men, and then you will know how I feel right now. 

a funny feeling

I hurried with my 40 kilos of luggage from the baggage claim out to the arrivals hall and up to the departures hall. I have one hour until the gate closes. When I finally get to the right check in desk I immediately know that I am correct. In a fine snake line there are more than a dozen "penguins" (thats what we lovingly call ultra-orthodox Jewish men) standing in line to check their baggage. A man runs past me, covered in tattoos and cursing in Hebrew ya ben zona.  I have to let out a laughter. The contrast is stark. It's a funny feeling, a feeling I missed. I don't know those people and the differences are great, but they are still my people. A whole departures hall full with Jews, what a holy moment. What are they doing here? I don't know, probably also a stupid two flight layover. We are all on the same journey. Looking for that something. Some claim they found it some are still looking. I believe you never stop looking. And when you think you did, the next t

Jumping into the water

Mentally I am already in Israel when I call up the taxi company to reserve a taxi in advance from the airport to Jerusalem. I dial an Israeli number over WhatsApp and immediately hear people screaming in Hebrew in the background. I know I have reached the right place. I explain what I am looking for in Hebrew and he tells me to wait on the line. I expect nice elevator music, but I'm spoiled. Instead I get to listen to the tumult in the office. Someone asks where her cab is. Someone asks is a driver is free. Someone asks how much that would cost. I am feeling a little scared, but I quickly understand that everything is okay. That was my first impression of Israeli culture since I've been there for a visit with my best friend more than two years ago. Did I miss it? To be honest, yes. It's life. Am Israel Chai! 

Departure - The Big Day

"Last minute packing is the only acceptable minute for packing" - Gabriel, my future flatmate Hello dear friends and strangers who found their way here! Thank you for taking your prescious time to read what I am writing! As some of you know, I love writing, and this is one of many attempts at creating something lasting. Alas, now I have got the opportunity to do just that!  Today I am embarking on a journey, a journey, that with the help of HaShem will give me chances to fail, and grow and become a better version of myself! This journey leads me to a land, a land that my people has come from and that I am returning to now. Israel is the place where the Jewish soul can thrive best and that's why I chose that place from all places to begin my journey. That land is blessed by HaShem and it will give me the necessary strength to achieve my goals. You ask what exactly I will be doing there? That's a fine question and the answer is I don't know 100%. I will be part of