This past weekend was Rosh HaShanah, The First day of the Jewish New Year. I decided to leave my Kibbutz for the weekend and I was also kindly offered a place to stay. My friend Chen, a counselor from camp, and her family invited me over. They live in Holon, just outside of Tel Aviv. I took the train from Haifa to Tel Aviv and she picked me up. We got to her place and got ready for Shul/ Synagogue/Beit Kenesset and Dinner at her Aunt's house in Ramat HaSharon. I went with her Brother, Ron, to the Shul and we did the Kabbalat Shabbat/Rosh Hashanah service. It was very nice with a wide range of different looking Jews. The walk was a bit long, so I talked to Ron a bit. He is 20 years old and in the Navy, he has a very beautiful girlfriend, and very soon he will have his own ship to lead...
Then we sat down for dinner, which was to say the least, the fanciest dinner I have been for a Jewish Holiday. Real candle sticks in big silver holders, and very nice decorations and platters, a table set for almost 20. Rosh shel Dag (Head of Fish), Rimon (Pomegranate), and Apples and Honey...All things that have to do with different traditions of the holiday. We had amazing food, including Sushi (A great substitute to Gilfelta Fish) and Soup Bowls. Oh and really good wine.
The next day we woke up and had to get ready for the next holiday meal. This time we went to another family member of Chen's. It was also a very big meal, but about the most Israeli meal I have been to. There was a ton of food, lots of meat, including steak...what was Israeli about it was that everyone was yelling and eating fast and it was a Balagan (Arabic for mess). It was really fun, plus we had nice Champaign and Beer. After filling up we went outside to relax. The one thing that Israelis have been waiting for this year began to fall from the sky...Yes, it was Geshem (Rain) and a lot but only for a short time. Its now rained almost three days in a row, but its very short each time. I hope we can get more...Israel has a huge water problem now and all the fresh water is running out.
We then went back to Chen's house to take a nap and get ready for dinner that night. A few days before was Chen's Birthday, so she wanted to have a family dinner for it. We waited until late, so that it was no longer a holiday (Hag). We went to a place near Tel Aviv called Rak Basar (Just Meat). It was really cool place where they greeted us at the door with a friendly Shanah Tovah and a glass of wine. I also got to eat a steak for dinner! After dinner Chen, her boyfriend, and I headed up to Herzalah to meet up with Idan, my roommate from this summer. We meet at Max Brainer, a very nice Chocolate Restaurant. It was great and it was really good to see Idan. Idan's Girl friend also showed up and was very beautiful as well. It really was a great night, but a long one, so we headed back to get some sleep.
The next day we woke up late and just relaxed. Chen helped me with my hebrew homework. Then we traveled to her boyfriend's house in Modin for Lunch. It was a more laid back lunch, but the best food of the weekend. There is nothing like fresh homemade shinchel (breaded Chicken). We went back again so I could get ready to head back to the kibbutz. Before going to the train station we stopped at a Nagelia (Hookah) Bar in Jafo (Arab part of Tel Aviv). It was very authentic and a good end to my weekend.
Now I'm back on the kibbutz and had to work on Monday and back to class today. Work is still the same, but now I have some music I bring with me. I am changing rooms!!!! Living with Casey (Minnesota) and Adi (Australia) It should be a great room and I am getting my hopes back up for the rest of the Ulpan.
Year in Review - With Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Years) right around the corner, now seems to be a good enough time to wrap up my last year and a little bit. I returned to T...