Motzei Shabbat, I left the hotel and schlepped with my bags over to Rechov Hamelech George, and after waiting for a few minutes, caught an articulated #14 bus to my chevruta (study partner) Miron and Naomi’s apartment right on the happening street of Emek Refaim. After catching up a bit, I went down the street and met my friend Yoni Zierler, who I had been close with in preschool and hadn’t seen for about 12 years. We had dinner at New Deli, and spent a while catching up and hearing about his time in the army, as he had officially made aliyah. It’s just one of the amazing things about
On Sunday morning, I went back to the Conservative Yeshiva after a six-month hiatus. I arrived in time for davening at , just like old times. After tefillot, Reb Mordechai Silverstein, of my favorite teachers, gave a dvar tefillah, and I went across the street to supersol to grab some breakfast and also took the opportunity to do laundry at Beit Nativ. Just like old times, I went right back into Dr. Josh Kulp’s Talmud class, learning in chevruta with Miron and Rabbi Marvin Richardson, a close friend of the family. Although JTS in no Jewish wasteland, it’s just so nice to be back in this amazing place and learning torah lishmah. For lunch, I ran across the street and got some pita and hummus (whose label assured me that it was extra kosher for the shmitta (sabbatical) year. After mincha, I was sitting in the Beit midrash checking my email and my friend from back home in Toronto, Naomi Cooperman, who is on Nativ this year, sent me an instant message. In turned out that she was sitting a few dozen feet away in Beit Nativ, so I ran upstairs to say hello and we hung out for a while. I also got to see Reena Saks and her parents, who are close family friends and used to live in
In went back to the Yeshiva for Maariv, and in the evening, had dinner at Tal Bagel with some friends from
Monday was another busy day, with Talmud in the morning (when I learned with Shira), a pizza lunch sponsored by the AJULA (aka
That afternoon, I went back to the Yeshiva and attended Midrash class with Reb Mordechai, my favorite midrash teacher. In the evening, I went baxk to Miron and Naomi’s, had dinner and relaxed.
Tuesday was another busy day. Being Rosh Chodesh, we had a lovely davening in the morning, complete with Shacharit led by Reb Pesach Schindler. Tefillot were followed by breakfast with a d’var torah by the dean of the education school at UJ. I spent much of the morning practicing Torah reading, and lunch (of falafel) was provided, along with a talk by Dr. David Breakstone, the Conservative/Masorti movement’s representative in the World Zionist Organization/Jewish Agency. After Mincha, I took a bit of a walk to Meah Shearim and bought a few things, and was back at the Yeshiva for Ma’ariv. In the evening, we had a nice relaxed dinner with Naomi’s sister, who studies at Pardes.
Wednesday was the ‘big day’ of Bush’s arrival, and even from the moment we stepped out the door to walk over to the Yeshiva, one could tell that things were different. There were very few cars to be seen on the roads, and fewer pedestrians than usual as well. We managed to have a relatively normal day at the Yeshiva, starting with tefillot when I led P’sukei D’zimra (just like old times), and another great morning of Talmud class. On our way from the classroom building back to the beit midrash, it was eerily silent, and there were no cars or pedestrians to be seen on the street. We found out that shortly afterwards, Mr.Bush’s procession passed by while we were eating lunch. Lunch came with a talk by Rabbi Charlie Savenor, the assistant dean of the
Thursday was sadly my last day at the Yeshiva until I manage to find my way there again. I left at 7 and made it to the Yeshiva without any trouble or being stopped, though unfortunately there were less people at shacharit than usual. I got hagbah. After breakfast (when I finished the pita and hummus that I had bought for the week), we had chevruta and shiur for Talmud. Following Talmud, it was time for our weekly sicha with our Rosh Yeshiva, Reb Shmuel, who spoke very inspirationally about what makes our ‘Conservative Yeshiva’ different from those that thrive on coercion, and the special challenges that it entails. After a pizza lunch, we finished the day with Parashat Hashavua and mincha. In the afternoon, I went shopping with Miron at the shuk where I got a few things for myself as well, and then at ‘SuperSol Deal,’ which is much larger and nicer than the other one, with plenty of free samples as well. (On the way back from the shuk we saw the same huge security presence as yesterday, with police officers on every corner an a radius of barricades both around the Prime Minister’s House and the
The Conservative Movement and Jonathan Pollard?!