So last week was finals, which was why I didn't write anything, but now I'm free for the most part.
Anyways I just had the best 25 hours! I want to tell you all about it, yayyyyy.
So as you know last night was new years eve and shabbat. I was a little bummed that I wouldn't be able to go out for new years, but it worked our really well. My friend (Helene, shout out) invited me over for shabbat dinner that we decided was going to go until new years. So I meet up with her and another friend at services and walked back to her place. When we got there, the power was OUT! One of her roommates had lit candles, but other than that everything was dark. In Israel (or maybe not everywhere but def in j'lem) when this happens on shabbat there really isn't much you can do because no one is working, so you just kinda have to deal with it.
So we did. We ate a nice candle light dinner, and once we got used to the dark it was fine. It was really fun, it definitely made the night special. This will be a new years I will remember for a long time! The other silly thing was that since shabbat starts so early (around 4pm) that means services and dinner was also really early. So we finished dinner around 8 and were already exhausted. We had a few sleepers that we had to wake up. It made me feel like an old lady, because I was having trouble staying awake haha.
Since it was late and it was raining pretty heavily outside, we all ended up sleeping over. Haven't done that in a while. All around it was a really great new years. It was chill. I laughed a lot, hung out with friends and I didn't do anything really dumb. woo
So then in the morning we decided to have an adventure. Most of Jerusalem is closed on shabbat, but parts of the old city are bustling. One of our friends had told us about this place called the Austrian Hospice, that has an amazing view of the old city from their roof (and is free), so we decided to go there. It is along the via delarosa (stations of the cross), so we figured we would check some of them out.
Yo if you are in Jerusalem you have to go to the Austrian Hospice, it was super cool. You just get buzzed in (it looks closed but its not) and you go up a bunch of stairs and there is an incredible view of the dome of the rock, and well everything. We went to a few of the other stations. Some were cool churches, and some were not as cool, but it was interesting. My favorite part was when we went to the church of the holy sepulchre. It was AMAZING.
I know some Jews don't go into churches, but if you do feel comfortable, you need to check this place out. I could have been in there for hours just looking at everything and observing everyone. Ahh it was so cool!! Especially as a former religion major and someone who is interested in the way different religions pray, this was fascinating. There are so many different Christian denominations within this one church and they each claim different parts of it. There are lots of beautiful mosiacs and artwork on the walls.
The best part of being there was that we came in the late afternoon so there were different procession/service things going on. There was one group that slowly went around the church singing/chanting prayers, and when they got to the part where the tomb is they sang with an organ and it was soo beautiful. It was really spiritual. I wouldn't pray there, but I could definitely understand how others can have a powerful experience in the church. I've never really loved the organ as an instrument, but this was great, I definitely have a new appreciation for it (even though I still don't think it belongs in a reform synagogue).
I could go on and on about everything, but I think it would get boring for you, and I would get tired writing about all the fascinating stuff. I will definitely be going back (and not on a Saturday so that I can take pictures). If you are here and don't go, I think you are missing out.
Yeah that's about it. Not much else exciting from last week. I took a lot of tests, procrastinated, took more tests. Fun stuff. Now I just have 2 more assignments between me and vacation!!! I am super excited because at the end of next week I will be going to Americaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! yayayay
Well happy 2011 and all that!