Friday, April 23, 2004


If you read my entry last week about the coincidences in meeting a bunch of Israelis at the Cat Club in SF (one of which i am meeting up with tonight to hit the town), you'll love this one. First, let me tell you that I had the pleasure and honor of meeting one of Gil's (aka: Israeli guy) very good friends. Why did I get to meet him? His friend Gadi, is a part of Israel At Heart an organization whose objective is to "promote a better understanding of Israel and its people." I went to hear him and 2 other Israelis speak. The talk was cancelled which disappointed me on one hand because I was looking forward to the talk. On the other hand, since I was there, and they were there, I got to talk to them for a couple of hours about Israel, the US, and all kinds of things! These three post-army, college students are very intelligent and extremely nice so talking to them was really a treat. I met them on Monday and told them to come out partying with me on thursday (last night). I got a call around 8pm letting me know they would be coming over to Berkeley. I was about to spend another evening among Israelis. I was thrilled to say the least. When I told my good friend about my adventures in meeting Israelis, she responded with, "well if you meet that many Israelis here then you won't have to move back to Israel!" Nice try sweety, I am outa here the second I get my Governator signed diploma.

So last night was coincidence central. I know Israel is tiny and everybody knows everybody but coming from a huge place like the US, little coincidences are a big deal! So here it goes:

I took them to a bar/club called Blake's (on Telegraph Ave). We got there kind of early so there weren't many people yet but the bar was wide open to buy drinks. So we sat for a bit and chatted. I went to find a friend of mine and on my way to doing so, I walked right past three people speaking in Hebrew. I began to talk to them trying to find out who they were and what the hell they were doing there. I seem to always run into Israeli travellers at this bar. Anyway, I found out they are "working". I told them to come meet my friends who are Israeli. But of course, they had to smoke a cigarette first. I went back to join Gadi, Mike and Atalia only to find Mike was gone! :) When I found him again, he was outside with the other Israelis and was already talking to them. When I approached them to confirm that they were all properly introduced, I discovered that Mike had been in the army with one of them! Woah! So they had plenty to talk about. SMALL WORLD. Gil told me this is very common, and that makes sense since Israel really isn't that big.

On top of that, I met another Israeli in the bar that night. He is like me though. A Berkeley student who came to the US at a young age. Good guy though.

I had such a good time. I explained to Gil that it is difficult for me in a town like Berkeley (where everyone seems against me). I am learning so much in the classroom, and so much more outside the classroom. It is such a ying/yang place. There are many amazing professors who I have had the honor to be taught by, but then I had to walk past posters of hatred every day in order to reach the classroom. To spend the evening with Israelis, who treat you like family even though they don't know you, warms my heart and reinforces my decision to move back.

Major thanks to Gil! And of course to Gadi, Mike, and Atalia too!

Thursday, April 22, 2004


Just wanted to wish my mom a very happy birthday. I talked to her on the phone just now, and it seems she is enjoying the sun (that came out to celebrate her birthday) by walking around SF. Love you! Ad 120!

Monday, April 19, 2004

found this at: Aaron's Rantblog!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Yom HaShoah

Holocaust Remembrance Day. A somber holiday. We remember the six million Jews who were murdered in Europe for no reason other than they were Jewish. Tell me why did they have to die? Why did they have to hide? Why were they branded like cattle to let the world know who they were? Why were they made to feel sub-human? Why were six million of my people murdered? 56 years later, the world has forgotten. I swear on my life, for the sake of my family and my history I will never forget. I will teach my children what was done to their great-grandfather. I will take them to Poland to see the place their great-grandfather was put in. Tell them how he watched his sister get murdered in front of his eyes. How he searched through piles of bodies to try and find his father. How after the war, he realized he was the only one of his entire family to have survived this wickedness. How he had no home to go to. His home was now Israel,a nation so young and vulnerable much like he was. How he was put into a uniform almost the second he arrived into Israel to now defend his right to exist yet again. 56 years later, we continue to fight for our right to exist, as a people, as a nation, in our land that God gave to us.

I mentioned only one of my grandparent's struggle in this entry. In truth, all 4 of my grandparents are Holocaust survivors. It is just that the other three were fortunate enough to live in places that weren't as traumatically hit (although were still hit hard). My grandmother's family was very wealthy and so they managed to avoid the camps because of that. My other grandparents lived in Romania and were still worked but managed to evade being taken away to a death camp. My grandfather that lived in Lodz lost everything. Everything but his own life. That's all that God let him get out with.

I will never forget.

Want to learn more about the Holocaust? Check out Yad Vashem's website. Yad Vashem is the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.

UPDATE: After speaking with my mom I learned more about my grandmother's situation during the Holocaust. It was not their wealth that saved them but rather my great-grandfather's charm and intelligence. He was well known and respected in the town that they lived in. When the non-Jews found out that the Nazis were coming, they warned him. They hid him and his family for the night and then told them it was not safe for them to stay there. At that point, my grandmother and her family ran away into the forest. That is where they hid for a long time. I need to find out more details about the specifics.
I feel as though my grandmother was always more hesitant to talk about how the war affected her than my grandfather. I will ask my mother to give me all the details. I need to know the story no matter how painful it is.

Last thought: One of the most common words in Jewish prayers is "Liskor" which means "Remember". Seems like in our religion we have a lot of things we need to make sure we never forget. We cannot forget the miracles God did for us: how He created the world, how He took us out of Egypt, gave us the Torah, gave us Israel. We must also remember all the tragic times in our history, of which the Holocaust is just the most recent and one of the more devastating attempts to try and wipe us out.

Here I am, it is now 2:40AM and I just got back from a party in Isle Vista. I am having a great time in Santa Barbara. I spent the day with Liz walking around downtown (State Street) just enjoying the scenery and the shops. Bought a few shirts and sat out on the beach (even though it was really windy!!). Tomorrow it is back to Berkeley. Sad to go back but had a great time in the beauty that is Santa Barbara!! I really think I should live here for a summer.

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