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Sunday, September 9, 2007

YMCA, Makhtesh Ramon, and Shlichot

Wow, lots to write about.

First and foremost, we finally were able to get Carlie into a Gan (Preschool/kindergarten). The YMCA had an opening, and it is less than $400 a month. I take her to school in the morning, around 8 am, and Batya picks her up at 1 pm. It's great...they even feed her breakfast! This is going to allow Batya to take an Ulpan that is Sunday - Thursday from 9 am - 12 pm. Then, she can join me for lunch! We are extremely happy about this!

Some friends and I went with one of the voice teachers at HUC on a 23 kilometer - 15 mile - hike on Friday and Saturday. We went to the Makhtesh Ramon, a giant crater south of Jerusalem. It really is beautiful, and it was awesome to camp out on Friday night. The night sky was gorgeous...I believe we were able to see 10000000 stars at least! The hiking was pretty intense, and my body is a bit sore right now, but it was a lot of fun and well worth it! Unfortunately, I forgot my camera, so I didn't get any pictures, but trust me it was beautiful. We saw some wildlife as well, including a ton of birds. I am very sorry I won't be able to go back to the Makhtesh when others do the overnight hike next month!

Last night at 10 pm, we went to a Conservative Ashkenazic Synagogue. We went to experience Shlichot in an Ashkenazic Synagogue. It was short and very spiritual. I enjoyed it, but my body was so sore, that I really had a very hard time concentrating. I still thought it was spiritual, and nice to share that experience with a bunch of my HUC classmates.

Classes began last week, and I finally feel like a Rabbinical student. I will admit that I am going to spend A LOT of time studying, and it is going to be hard. But, it will be worth it as I have dreamed about this for a long time. I am just very fortunate to have Batya and Carlie here to share these experiences with me.

We are now getting ready for the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, and starting to really think about Teshuvah, repentance, as we prepare for the Jewish day of atonement, Yom Kippur. I will write and share my experiences of Jerusalem during this time a little later in this week and next!

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