Saturday, May 08, 2004

One of the best Shabbats

I just got home from a "Shabbaton". It was amazing. Basically, the Orthodox kids of Berkeley come together to organize services, meals, and lectures for the entire Shabbat. They invited up Rabbi BenZaquen who lives in my hometown (Palo Alto) and he led us in prayers, meals, lectures, discussions, walks, etc. I thought about a lot of things throughout the day. 1st of all, how nice Shabbat is when you really enjoy it the way G-d intended. 2nd, how knowledgable Rabbis are. They seem to have a story for everything don't they? What I find amazing is that this particular Rabbi didn't always think he'd be a Rabbi. He went to Columbia University where he studied Industrial Engineering! Just goes to show you that Rabbis aren't always just experts on the Torah and Judaism. Many have other backgrounds. I relate to him since I too am an engineer. Makes me believe there is hope for me to become more religious some day. It was such a fun day. A bunch of students, the Rabbi, his wife, and their 2 sets of twins walked around the campus to try and walk off some of the Shabbat lunch (which was amazing). His wife cooks amazing food. Those Sephardics can really cook! :)

Amazing day. I am left with a lot to think about.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Vitamin D overdose

I realized today that I have about 3 weeks until I depart for a month in Israel. I am getting excited and nervous. I haven't been to Israel for the summer in a long time and never spent it in Tel Aviv. I have a feeling it will be more fun than I can handle. I already promised my dad we'd play "Matkot" on the beach a lot since my mother never wants to play. I love the Mediteranean water because unlike Cali ocean water, you can stick more than your toe into it. Seriously, even on the hottest days here, you can't get yourself to get into the ocean water. It's just too fricken cold. Even in a wetsuit, it's painful! My only request would be that there won't be jellyfish this year in Israel. That way I can really just relax and enjoy the water. Sit there the entire afternoon watching people, reading, and hanging out with my friends and family. I can't wait. School is over in 2 weeks and time has officially stopped. Argh! I want to be done already!

Oh and as an aside: I got an email today asking me to join the Muslim Social Network! It was a spam email that somehow ended up in my inbox rather than the bulk folder. I found it absolutely hilarious. Apparently, for just $5 a month I can look through 110,000 profiles of Muslims from mostly North America and Europe. OOOH! Where do I sign up for that? This calls for a major WTF.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Mooky and a Reunion

Last night, I went to a party in San Francisco to celebrate Israel's birthday. It was at the Luna Lounge in San Francisco. I went to a similar party last year and have to say, this year's was about 10 times better. First of all, it was advertised better so it got very crowded. Second, Mooky made an appearance and sang a few songs. Third, there was a major reunion in there. All my Israeli friends from high school made it down to the party. Many of them go to school in Davis, Santa Barbara, Irvine, and even San Diego. There had to be about 15 of us, many I hadn't seen in years. It was amazing to see them. And of course, most of the Hillel-active Jews from Berkeley were there so I knew a lot of the people there.

A good friend of mine (who isn't Jewish) came with me. It was funny to watch Israeli after Israeli hit on her. There were tons of Israelis there, which makes sense, and made me very happy. They also played lots of Israeli music and decorated the club with Israeli flags and Stars of David. The proceeds of the event are being donated to Magen David Adom which is also great. I bet they raised a lot of money for MDA and that is fantastic. They were handing out pins with MDA logo on them. Many people didn't want to wear theirs so I was collecting them and putting them all over my shirt. I lost about half of them through the course of the evening and I have no idea how they fell off!

At about 2AM I was loitering outside and a friend of mine was having a discussion with Mooky. Being the shy little girl that I am, I didn't have the nerve to introduce myself to him but I stood there and listened to the conversation and every once in a while added my own little thought. I need to get over my shyness! :) It was still very cool. All in all, a very amazing evening. I really felt good seeing all my friends again. I am happy to hear that a lot of them, like me, have ideas and/or plans to move to Israel after they graduate. You see, we Israeli children raised in America have been deeply affected by the turmoil and are going through what I guess can be considered an identity crisis. We have to go back to see if we fit among our people.

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