Hi guys. Life is, as per usual, crazy and busy and stressful and (sometimes) a lot of fun. There are a lot of simchas (happy occasions) going on this week which are keeping us more than occupied, and we're gearing up for Purim (Thursday night, woo hoo!) and getting more and more excited for Pesach (for me, in Belarus!) With every day that passes more and more is piled onto my plate, and while I struggle to find balance, I am also really happy and excited to be doing most of this work.
The HUC community is thrilled to be able to welcome the newest member of the "Italian-Jewish-Reform-Sephardi" community into our midst as we celebrate the bris and baby naming of our friends' Andrea and Sara's new baby boy. "Mister" Zanardo (the baby will be officially named to the public at the bris tomorrow) made his debut about a month early, on March 1, and while he was born healthy, we're all happy that he's gained enough weight to officially be welcomed into the Jewish community. Steph is in charge of putting it all together, which is a daunting task, but she's doing a great job; I'm going to be singing a couple of songs (a schecheyanu and siman tov...any other ideas? What does one sing for a bris?) and doing whatever I can to make sure the event runs smoothly.
Then on Wednesday, our Israeli Seminar class is preparing us for a mock election/political rally to learn about Israeli politics. Because I could care less about how Israeli politics work (I barely understand American politics, and trust me when I say that Israeli politics are FAR more complicated to understand) I'm not really excited for this. It's a lot of work that I don't have time to be doing, but I am hoping that I will gain some sort of insight into the Israeli political process. I also hope I don't screw up whatever my section is due to my obscene lack of knowledge on the subject. Blech.
Thursday is the day everyone is excited for: the beginning of Purim. Traditionally, Purim is the holiday in which we read the Book of Esther, which celebrates Haman's failed attempt to destroy the Jews in ancient Persia. It's the most festive Jewish holiday, where people dress up in costume (I'm going to try to dress up as one of my hebrew teachers) and eat and drink themselves into oblivion to celebrate the feasts and "drinking parties" mentioned in the Book of Es'. However, before any of us can partake of the drunken debauchery that will surely ensew, we're required to go to the Megillah reading/Purim Shpiel. As fun as I know it will be, this Megillah reading has been the bane of our existence for the C-Squad and the few brave rabbinical students who have volunteered to read the Megillah. We learned the trope a few weeks ago in class, and I am responsible for chanting about 10 lines at the end of chapter 3. It's been a major headache and stressor for the past 2 weeks, and at this point I'm a little unsure of myself in terms of reading it perfectly from the actual scroll without the help of vowels or trope signs. Should be interesting, at the very least.
At least I have Purim festivites (Megillah reading excluded), a Beit Cafe, and a possible trip to Tel Aviv/the North/Ein Gedi during my LONG WEEKEND--no classes on Sunday--to look forward to.
Anyways, that's all from my end right now. Still no computer, still no pictures, still aggrivated. Looking forward to returning to the land of Circuit City, Target, and real American chinese food in the next couple of months, while trying to enjoy the last bit of my time in J'lem. Hope all is well with you--keep checking in for updates and pictures as soon as I get my computer back. I'm excited to write about my trip to the Negev a few weeks ago and to post my gorgeous pictures. Hopefully that will happen sooner than later!
Love you and miss you!