Friday, September 16, 2005

Circling Ben Gurion, so to speak—trying to avoid the obvious (part 3)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

. . .having spent Shabbat with my brother and his girlfriend, we spent Sunday and Monday with my ex-sister-in-law, who, obviously, remains our son’s aunt. We expect to spend next Shabbat with her and whichever of her children—probably only L.—is/are available.

On Sunday, we took a bus tour of Jerusalem, with N. providing the interpreting. (She told us that the infidada had pretty much killed off the foreign-tourist industry, which was why so few tours were conducted in English.) The poor bus driver did the best he could, considering the fact that the bus with the microphone was out of order. Then, we ate at Bet Ticho, the former home of a physician and his artist wife. We ate in the garden, under the shade of a couple of beach umbrellas. The food was wonderful! I am struck by how delicious Israeli fruits and vegetables are. My brother says that that’s because they’re grown much closer to where they’re eaten, and are, therefore, a lot fresher. Then, we walked around the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall again. I asked N. what one called a pedestrian mall in Hebrew. She said it was called a midrachov, combining the words midracha (sidewalk) and rehov (street). I pestered poor N. for Hebrew vocabulary all day.

Monday, August 22, 2005

We spent the day with N. again. First, we went to the seniors’ craft center Yad Lakashish, where I bought a beribboned and lacy woman’s kippah s’rugah and N. bought a wall hanging. [Yad LaKashish is one of my mother’s favorite places. They have the most beautiful handicrafts. And you’re supporting a good cause by buying them, too. “Quick note—the same #1 bus that took us from the Kotel to the Tachanah HaMercazit/Central (Bus) Station also took us past Yad LaKashish.”] Then we took a walking tour of the Ir haAtika. That’s where it got interesting. We were supposed to take a “tunnel tour” of some of the underground excavations around the Kotel, but we got separated by sex at the Kotel—and, having failed to coordinate a meeting place, stayed separated for about an hour longer than we should have. Once we finally found one another, courtesy of my parents’ cell phone, we grabbed a bite and wondered around the Jewish Quarter some more, stopping to see a museum in the Herodian Quarter that N. had never seen before. We rescheduled the tunnel tour for Monday, so that’s okay.

Speaking of seeing, I’d never before spent enough time outdoors with N. to notice the challenges that she faces as a person who’s legally blind. It took me a while to adjust to the fact that she wasn’t kidding when she asked us to check something that was only half a block away—she really can’t see that far. (I imagine that she has to ask either other people at the bus stop or the bus driver him/herself which number bus it is—she certainly can’t see far enough to read the number.) She walks up the stairs with no trouble, but does sometimes cope better going down the stairs when holding unto a railing or another person.

I’m looking forward to seeing her this coming Friday and Shabbat.

Friday, August 26, 2005

. . .

We went back to N.’s apartment, where we met the rest of the crew—my older niece A.R., my nephew A.Y., and my younger niece L. Also on hand were A.R.’s boyfriend, and, of course, N.’s boyfriend G. Somehow, I got so busy talking with the assorted young folk and prepping fruit and veggies for Shabbat dinner that I completely forgot to take pictures of my nieces and nephew! (I’m going to ask my uncle, who was here only a few weeks before I got here, to send some photos my way.) I did manage to connect a bit more with L., who’s majoring in theater in high school—she still has two more years to go.

A.Y. spent the most time with us. He led a few z’mirot. He also gave us a short d’var Torah on the dangers of being too machmir, saying that perhaps the second Temple might not have been destroyed if the Cohanim/Priests had been willing to accept the slightly-imperfect sacrificial offering of the Romans instead of insulting them by rejecting it. Along with that, he put an interesting twist on the ancient observance of Tu B’Av, in which the young women all wore borrowed white dresses so that the men would chose wives without knowing who was rich and who was poor. He reminded us that, with the laws given to b’not Tzlofchad saying that brotherless daughters could inherit land from their fathers provided that they married within the tribe, Tu B’Av stood that law on its head by making it impossible to tell who came from which tribe—it was the one day of the year when anyone, rich or poor, could marry anyone, no matter from which tribe! Then he led birkat hamazon.

A.Y. will continue for another year in the midrasha pre-Tzahal study-and-social-service, then spend two years in Tzahal, then probably spend what’s become the customary post-Tzahal year traveling, probably to South Asia, then, he hopes, he’ll go to the Berkeley School of Music in Boston, possibly preceded by attendance at another school of music in London, to study drums. In answer to my question, he told me that he played both Middle Eastern and western drums. His mom joked that he played everything—tables, boxes, her plastic stools from the mirpeset/balcony, and pretty much anything he could get his hands on. :)


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>