Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Justin Bieber= modern day Samson...they are both powerless without their hair. But seriously where would J.B be without his haircut?!

I leave tomorrow ahh!! I'm pumped. I had my farewell thing last night with my Belmont friends (shout out) in Harvard square. We accidentally walked into a karaoke night which was AMAZING, I know we used to do it all the time because one of my friends had a karaoke machine back in the day, but I forgot how fun it can be. Hilarious.

Yesterday I also went into brookline (baruch-line) because I had a gift certificate to a Judaica store there. So you are looking at the proud new owner of a huge tallis, tallis gadol: http://www.synagoguechm.com/images/store/prima_aa.jpg. I own a smaller one but the big ones are so much cooler, or at least I think they are. They kind of make you look like a Jewish superhero (which I obviously am). Now I just have to figure out how to put it on without looking ridiculous/having it touch the ground because it is so large...

Also shout out to Jared from Charles Schwab, I had to get some stuff for my account squared away before I go to Israel and he was perfect. I've never dealt with someone so kickass...

I guess this is my last post from outside of Israel (hutz la'aretz). Crazy. So tomorrow I will leave from Boston and fly to Paris and then Budapest and then Tel Aviv. I will then take a bus to J'lem and hopefully somehow get to my apartment in one piece (and also with my guitar in one piece, I'm kind of nervous about travelling with it).

Exciting posts to come...stay tuned :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Hey World,

So a little shout out to my parents who today had their adult b'nei mitzvah. Both my mom, dad and step mom completed their class and had their b'nei mitzvah because for various reasons they hadn't had a bar or bat mitzvah when they were 13. Yasher Koach!

In preparation for my year in Israel I have been asking various rabbis and rabbinical students for advice. Almost everyone I have asked has told me not to worry about grades and classes and just go have fun/experience Israel. I have probably heard this from 5 or so different people, so it must be true haha. I like that I am being told to have fun, I think that is something I'm pretty good at so I'm excited. At the same time I do love Jewish learning and am kindof a nerd in certain contexts, so I just have to make sure I balance everything out. I guess this is just a written reminder for me to HAVE FUN, don't let the school work bog you down. Yes ma'am

And AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I can't believe I am leaving so soon. I leave in two days. Everyone is asking me if I'm excited: F*CK yeah I am! Or as my friend says "do one legged ducks swim in circles?!" haha. My luggage is still a few pounds overweight, so I have to take a few more things out grrrr, but other than that I'm feeling pretty ready.

Also I was looking at where my apt is on google maps and there were some pics of the area and I realized I know exactly where my apt is. There is a food store thing under it or right next door or something and I remember shopping in that store the last time I was in Israel. I actually stayed like 5 mins away from there last time. The apt is also pretty much across the street from the fuchsburg center...ahh conservative Judaism is following me (or am I following it...hmmm...maybe I will study some Talmud there, great location!)

I leave you with a song, one of my new song obsessions and also kind of appropriate because it talks about home and I'm about to leave...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Packing for Israel

It's weird how even during/after a tragedy time keeps going, life doesn't stop, even though sometimes it feels like it should. So today I find myself packing for Israel as I am leaving in 5 days...

So I am trying to be super reasonable with what I pack. I have spent a lot of time sorting out clothes that I can live without for the year or clothes that aren't really appropriate for Israel. Even with all that I am having tons of trouble fitting everything I want to take. I spent today packing my clothes and then unpacking, trying to narrow down what I'm taking and pack again. So far it looks like everything is gonna fit (fingers crossed), but I have a feeling I am going over the weight limit. Airlines should really make special allowances for people who are going somewhere for a year, come on people!

I am also having shoes issues. As you know I am really into wearing crazy sneakers and I am leaving a few pairs at home, and even with that I am still having trouble fitting the shoes I want to take...grrrr. I blame the sorority/NYC for making me this way haha, because at school there were always occasions to dress up for whether it be going out on the town, mixers, formals or formal chapter...gahhhh. Well I guess I should feel lucky that I'm having this problem and it's not the other way around. Ok I'm gonna stop ranting now.

So my flight to Israel is super round about, it is going to take me 26 hours to get there. BUT the plus side is that I have an 11 hour layover in Paris which means I get to explore. I've been to France before, but not Paris (weird right?). I have been looking up stuff to do there, and my high school french is coming in handy for the first time in a while. (Actually the last time I had to use my French was the last time I was in Israel Soph year of college and I got into a cab with my friend and the driver had just made aliyah and didn't really speak hebrew, but he did speak french. It was really confusing being in Israel and speaking French, I don't think the guy understood me at all haha).

Israel is getting more and more real. I can't believe I am leaving so soon and for a year. I am having trouble wrapping my mind around it. I'm excited to go and have this experience, to see my friends there and make new ones, and get to know Israel in a deeper way. I'm excited for classes, hopefully I will find myself a good chevruta (shout out to my awesome past chevrutot). I've been looking at pics from some other HUC students who are already there and they look like they are having fun so it is making me more pumped to get there. Ahhhhhhhhh...

Ok back to packing... (can you tell I love elipses)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baruch Dayan ha' emet

Today Rachel Swett passed away. She was a good friend and a sorority sister. She was a kind, giving person. She was great to talk to and told funny stories. I had the privilege of being her new member mom and got to know her well through that. She was the only person who would be able to convince me (the rab student) to go with her to sit on Santa's lap before christmas. I missed her a lot this year while she was abroad studying first in Paris and then in new zealand, but it always looked like she was having fun and had great pictures to prove it.

Rachel was in a skiing accident and had been in critical condition for the past few days. While she was not expected to survive, the news of her passing was/is still shocking. It was shocking for many reasons. This is the first person who was my age who I was friends with who actually died. It was also shocking because she was such a good person, and did nothing to deserve such an untimely end to her life.

So in Judaism there is this custom of saying "baruch dayan ha'emet" when you first hear of tragic news, like a death. This phrase translates to blessed is the true judge. It is kind of like saying yes, this is a horrible thing that happened but it happened for a reason and it is all part of God's big plan. While this phrase might be comforting for some people because it is reassuring that this event happened for a reason, I am having a lot of trouble with it. While my view of God is complicated and ever-evolving, I believe that God is good. But I don't understand how taking the life of a young, amazing person could be for the better. Seriously. Yes you could say that by taking this life it will teach people something or it will help them value life more, but these effects don't justify the tragedy that took place and the tragedies that continue to take place around the world.

There is a view in Judaism that if you take one life it is as if you have killed an entire world and if you save a life it is as if you have saved a world. Saving a life, pikuach nefesh, is the biggest mitzvah you can possibly do. With all this value that Judaism places on life it just doesn't make sense that life would be taken away so quickly by a God that taught us to appreciate life and go above and beyond to conserve it.

So basically the phrase baruch dayan ha'emet is complete b.s to me. Yeah God works in mysterious ways, but what kind of Judge kills off innocent people? Maybe this is heretical to say, but I am pissed at God right now and I am extremely upset that the world has lost such an awesome person.

May her memory be a blessing...

Friday, June 11, 2010


Hello World,

So I always think about updating this blog, but I haven't gotten to Israel yet so there is nothing all that interesting or exciting to write about. I leave for Israel in 19 days ahhhhh. I'm super pumped.

The one thing I have been doing a lot of is reading (I know how interesting right?!). But for those of you out there looking for a book to read, read The convalescent by Jessica Anthony. It's a bit weird but the writing style is unique and it was a well told story.

New song obsession: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ESdn0MuJWQ&feature=channel this is me, I'm riding solo to israel super soon wooooooooooooooooooooooo

I promise to be more exciting soon :-) Shabbat shalom and Go Celtics!!