Friday, November 2, 2007

Life Goes On

Memorial stone at the Mount Hertzl Military Cemetery. We visited the cemetery, where soldiers are buried (close to the National Cemetery, where all of the heads of the government are buried) last week for our weekly Israel Seminar.

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well. It's been another busy week, though I have to say school has been considerably better the last few days. I'm still busy, but I'm working to keep a good attitude and try to sneak in some "Tracy Time" everyday, which has helped tremendously. The HUC Board of Governors was here this week, so there's been a lot of excitement and activities going on with that. They've been sitting in on our classes, attending special meetings, preparing for/attending the Israeli Rabbinic Ordination, and talking to us, the students, about our experiences thus far in the program. I was asked to be on a student panel on Thursday in which the board members could ask us questions about how the year is going. With my state-of-mind at the beginning of the week, I was a bit worried about how I would answer their questions. We were told to be honest, but at these kinds of things, you have to be tactful--they don't want to hear about your particular problems in that kind of setting, and in some sense, they want to hear that the school is doing a good job. Luckily, my mind set was much improved by the time Thursday rolled around, and I was able to talk to them genuinely. They asked us questions about classes, moving to Israel, our families' reactions to us being here, etc. They were all very nice people, and seemed very interested in the cantorial program. One of them was on the committee who auditioned me last February, so it was nice getting to know her and learning about who she is and what she does for HUC.

Thursday night, Steph and I along with our friends Lea, Shari and Dina went to the Jerusalem Theater to see Hadag Nachash, an Israeli pop/hip-hop/electronic band play. I'd seen them earlier this summer when I didn't really know their music, but now that I've had some time to hear them on the radio and around Israel, I enjoyed the show a lot more. Their music is very loud and fun, but usually has some sort of political message. My favorite song of theirs, Shirat HaSticker (The Sticker Song) was composed from a bunch of bumper stickers seen on Israeli cars, protesting war and encouraging peace. They're an amazing band to see live--they're leaving for a US tour in the next year, so if they come to your city, I highly recommend that you go. You'll enjoy it :)

Hadag Nachash! We had 4th row seats and an awesome view... it was pretty amazing.

After the concert, we went to our friend Sam's apartment to celebrate both his 23rd birthday and (belated) Halloween. Halloween is not at all commemorated here, as it's a Pagan holiday (and an American tradition), but we had a great time celebrating on our own. Being the incredibly cool cantorial students we are, we decided to go costumed as trope signs (trope signs, or ta'amim in Hebrew, are the little dots and squiggles you see under the words in the Tanach that tell you how to sing them.) We thought it would be fun to mix each other up and make people sing us; our tag-line all night was "Sing me, baby..." OK, so we're the dorkiest cantorial students ever, but we had so much fun with it and laughed about constantly all night long. In case you were wondering, I was the sof-pasuk, the trope that marks the end of each verse.

4 of the 5 members of the C-Squad: Michelle "Shalshelet", Vicky "Etnachta", Julia "Karnei Para" and Tracy "Sof-Pasuk" (though I think my trope is backwards.) We're the coolest cantors in Jerusalem, clearly.

Anyways, the rest of my weekend was filled the with Israeli Rabbinic Ordination, where the community choir sang the opening and closing numbers, and a lovely Shabbat with the board members. I went to Kriyat Harel, a reform congregation just down the street from here for services, and then attended delicious and fancy dinner at the home of one of the congregants of Harel (with homemade chocolate mousse for dessert...complete and total heaven.) Today was spent observing our Saturday tradition of homework and Grey's Anatomy, followed by dinner with our friends Jen and Dan. It was so nice to have a Saturday completely free--after 2 weeks of constantly running around, I really appreciate the days I have completely to myself.

Now I'm off to do some last minute homework and prepare myself for the busy week ahead. Miss and love you all..68 days until winter break and STL!!!

P.S. For all of you cooks out there: It's getting to be soup-weather in Israel...any ideas for delicious and easy soup recipes? My soup-repertoire is getting a little boring...



1 comment:

claire said...

omg...so this is counterproductive because I'm sure you mean warm soups...but gazpacho...

I can't give you a recipe cause I put different things in it everytime, but as long as there's tomatoes you'll be fine...

And you need a blender...