On Tuesday I had ulpan in the morning (do I even need to say it anymore?), and we had a speaker for lunch. Rabbi Jeremy Gordon came and had a conversation with Rabbi Levy. He mostly talked about his experiences at the rabbinical school he went to, JTS. It was really interesting because he almost didn’t get in to JTS due to his progressive views, and he talked about how he tried to push for these views while in school. This time lunch was provided for us, and they gave us falafel and fries (people put fries in their shawarma or falafel pitas here).
After lunch, I actually skipped my afternoon class, but for a good reason. I went to Yad Vashem (the Holocaust memorial museum) to watch my grandfather’s testimony he recorded for the Shoah Foundation. Yad Vashem has hours accessible to my class schedule, but the visual center where you can watch these videos has much more restricted hours, so the only way I would be able to go was to skip class. When I walked into the room with all of the computers, not only was I the only woman, but I was the only non-Haredi Jew.
I only got about 2/3 of the way through the video before the museum closed which meant I didn’t have time to walk through the actual museum, but that was fine because I have been there before. The end of the museum has a really beautiful view.
When I was trying to exit, the security guard stopped me and said there was no exit for five minutes, so I had to wait. I started to see people with camera equipment walking outside, and then a whole group came out. Other visitors who were waiting to exit started to get out cameras, and I heard people talking about a president. I asked someone who it was, and it turns out it was the Italian president walking right by us!
I went back to my neighborhood for dinner, and I went to the Waffle Bar, which I had been wanting to try since I got here. I got the Oreo waffle, which consisted of Oreo ice cream, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, Nutella, vanilla cream, and vanilla buttercream all atop a waffle. It was delicious and I was completely stuffed after.
On Wednesday we had another speaker. Rabbi Tzvi Graetz came to talk to us about the Masorti (Conservative) movement, and pizza was provided. In the afternoon I had class with Rabbi Alan, where we discussed whether or not “love thy neighbor” refers to anyone or only your Jewish neighbors. The general consensus is that it likely only refers to other Jews, but it’s really fascinating to talk about. My second class was supposed to be a tour of the Rehavia neighborhood, but the tour guide was sick. This left us with the option of going on a tour of the Old City with the French group, but the tour would be entirely in French. Greg and I (the only two people in the walking tour class) decided not to go on the tour, but instead to go to the Emanuel outlet. This is the factory store for the most popular Judaica brand here, and the prices are heavily discounted. We were joined by Robert, who is in some of my classes, and we had to race to find a cab because the store closed only 45 minutes after our class ended. I ended up finding some nice decorations for a really good price.
On Thursday Rabbi Levy led a a multi-faith lunch for me and a couple of other students. Two of the students at the Yeshiva this summer are not Jewish-we have a Franciscan monk from Japan and a Confucianist student from China. Both of them were there, as well as a few other students from various areas. We started a dialogue about what it means to have a multi-faith atmosphere, and we are going to continue our discussion next week. I had my class with Rabbi Levy after this, and we focused on literature about divorce and hating your spouse.
After class I went to the shuk to use my Bite Card that I had bought online earlier that day. This is a card you can buy for 99 shekels (about $25), and it has 6 tear-off cards that you exchange for a pre-selected food item at the restaurant on the card.
You can do them in any order, but since I was planning on using the whole card in one visit, I had to start with the dairy items because I can’t eat dairy after meat due to keeping kosher. The first stop was ice cream at Mousseline for ice cream. I got to choose two scoops, and I chose praline and chocolate. They also added a scoop of dulce de leche on top. The cup was very small with three scoops of ice cream in 95 degree heat, and I ended up with chocolate ice cream all over my skirt.
Next up was Hachapuria, a Georgian restaurant that serves khachapuri, which are different variations of savory Georgian pastry. I got khachapuri that consisted of cheese in triangles of dough.
Next was a “health drink” at Uzi-Eli. They let me pick from all of the juices they had, and I chose a berry blend.
My next stop was Meorav Yerushalmi for a dish of the same name. This consisted of chicken livers, spleens, and hearts, mixed with some lamb and hummus in a pita. It tasted fine, but the texture was a little strange, possibly just because of the idea of what I was eating.
After this I was starting to get overwhelmed and I decided to save my last 2 cards for another day. I cooled off with a slushie I found before getting on the bus.
I got on the bus that I usually take to get home, but instead of going to my apartment from the stop, I went to the Haas Promenade to watch the sun set.