Sunday, April 1, 2007

Blood, sweat, and tears ( the israel experience- week 2)

Shalom, chaverim! Mah inyanim? Hakol beseder? Tov!
I just went through my entire vocabulary of the modern hebrew language. I'm serious. My grammar was probably off a little, too, so even that pathetic line was erroneous. I really must learn to speak ivrit. I'm sick of little kids laughing at me when I ask simple questions to the owner of the little market on the corner of my block...
At least I'm walking a lot. I'm trying not to take transportation as much as possible, in order that I should walk and get some excersize. Of course, a lot of the walking is uphill, so my calves feel like someone is squeezing them with a pliers, but it's good for you, so....oh, and my apartment's on the top floor of my building, so that helps too.
I've basically slipped into a routine, which doesn't really deviate much from day to day. Here's a basic rundown:
7:45/ 8:00 A.M.: Wake up for minyan.
9:00 (9:15) A.M.- 12:00 P.M.: First seder
12:10 P.M.- 1:15 P.M.: Shiur, followed by mincha
1:15 P.M.- 3:15 P.M.: Lunch/ free time
3:15 P.M.- 7:10 P.M.: Second seder
7:10 P.M.- 7:40 P.M.: Mussar seder, followed by maariv ( I don't daven maariv with yeshiva, however...)
7:40 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.: Supper/ free time
8:30 P.M. - whenever: Night seder/ chazaras haShiur, after which I make my way over to a minyan for maariv, and head back to my place.
In truth, the only really strenuous addition to my schedule is the extra 45 minutes or so by second seder, which can be really treacherous. Like pulling teeth.
So like I was saying, there's no real deviation from day to day, unless something comes up unexpectedly. For example, I daven in a small place near my dira. If I daven there, I usually have 10 minutes or so, between the end of shacharis and the beginning of seder, which is just enough time. If I wake up any later, then I have to go to shteiblach, which is this squat building made up of little rooms designed for davening. In any event, yesterday, I wake up, and I look at my clock. through my groggy, sleep induced haze, I make out that my clock reads 9:00. Realizing that I'm really REALLY late, I jump out of bed, and start ripping my clothes on, slamming into things, putting two legs in one pant leg, stubbing my toes on my bed, etc. Then, as I bend over quickly to wash my face and hands, I slam my forehead into the little shelf above the sink that is just small enough that I shouldn't see it, yet large enough to hit it. Hard.
So, it's through the bright red haze of pain that I see the guy from the room next door poke his head into the room.
Him: good, you're up....
Me: what is that, sarcasm or something?
Him: huh?
Me: oh, stop, don't be all cute, okay? I woke up late, but at least this is only the first time, okay?
Him: what are you talking about, you stoned freak?
Me: cut the crap, alright? it's nine o'clock, and seder officially starts now. Hey, maybe I can stop in the beis medrash, tell my chavrusa I'll be right back, and then rip off to shteiblach and daven...
Him: dude, it's only eight....
Me: or maybe I'll just daven in the coatroom....
Him: it's eight o'clock....
Me: no, it's thursday, I have to hear krias HaTorah...
Him: Hey, idiot! It's only eight o' clock!
Me: what?
Sure enough, I did a double take at my watch and it was indeed only eight, not nine like I originally thought. This was good news, because I was able to make my rgular minyan, although I fely kinda stupid that I made that dumb mistake.
In truth, that was the most excitement I had all week. Anyway, I gotta bounce now, but I will, God willing, be keeping you posted....
Originally posted Saturday, 17 September 2005

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