Posted by: RaeAn | 26 July 2010

Old MacDonald had a Tiyul….


….and on that Tiyul he had some flexible-bar-standards….

On Allenby in Tel Aviv... fairly typical of the Israeli way of doing things.

"Age? Eez strict here, veh-ree strict! Must be 21! Unless you beautiful, then see Scott and he will let you in, yes, but, eh, you are not beautiful, so go away!"

On a more serious note, several of us went to Tel Aviv on Friday for some sun and sand and sunsets and…. shul? Too much alliteration? Yeah, I agree.

We went to services on Namal, the port on the coast in Tel Aviv, with Beit T’filah Yisrael. It was beautiful. Again, full album is on Picasa:

But some choice picks are here!

The beginning of sunset on Namal as we pray.

Classmates prepare to pray as the services begin...

And it only gets more beautiful from here.

ליבי במזרחת אבל עכשיו, עיניי במערב / Libi b'mizrach, aval achshav, ayneiy b'ma'arav /
My heart is in the East, but right now, my eyes are on the west.

Generally, Jews pray facing Jerusalem, no matter where we are in the world. From the US, we pray to the east; from India, to the west; from South Africa, to the north; and so on. Here we were, though, facing west, when Jerusalem was southeast of us. However, at this the moment, praying to the west seemed to be praying directly to God, because if there is a God, He/She/etc. is certainly embodied in views like this.

Sunset during the Amidah, while a classmate holds his daughter. (He's on the bottom right -- you can see a little bit of her head below his chin.)

Also, let’s play a game: find the hilarious mis-translation in this English-translation menu! I’ll give you a hint: it appears not once, but twice!

*cue Jeopardy music*

Yeah. Sometimes I get the English menu not because I need it (I generally don’t — I can order well enough in Hebrew), but because there’s almost always one little thing like this. Thank you, Cafe Nimrod on Namal, for this little giggle.

In other news… Ulpan is going well; I have my first test on Wednesday. Most of the grammar is old news for me, but the vocab is still a challenge. Damn words with their being all… wordy and hard to remember.

We also get to sign up for Truma projects soon. The Truma project is a community-service type project everyone has to do, and there are tons of options among designated programs… or we can create our own. I’m hoping to find my own project with the Jerusalem Open House, the LGBT center here, but I’m also interested in another program in which I’d get to teach teens spending a semester in Israel from elsewhere in the world. We’ll see what happens.

Also, last night through today was Tu b’Av… which is the Israeli holiday of love. Like Valentine’s day, but not really. My Jewish Learning has some info on its history to read if you’re so inclined. I cracked open a bottle of wine with a toast to singledom with fellow blogger (if I’m allowed to call myself a blogger) and actual comedian (as opposed to my failed attempts at being funny) Benji Lovitt (of What War Zone)… and I then spent today in the longest day of classes I’ve ever had: 8:30 am T’fillah (services), 9:30 am-2:00 pm Ulpan (Hebrew class), 2:15-3:15 Mitzvah Heroes lecture, 3:30-5:30 Education class… then I cooked dinner with my friend Kyna and now, I’m pooped.

But I still have Ulpan homework to do. Bah, humbug. (Or, in Hebrew, בה המבג. Or maybe בא המבג? The latter might be an actual sentence if “Humbug” can be someone’s name… hmmmmm….)

I also have a presentation on Wednesday. In Hebrew. About 10 minutes long. Of just talking. About what, you ask? Anything. Quite literally, anything. I just have to talk cohesively in Hebrew for 10-15 minutes. And answer questions from the class about what I talked about. Any suggestions for topics? Help?


All right. Time to do homework. But comment so I know you love me!


~ Rae



  1. Beautiful pictures! I’m enjoying your blog even if I don’t comment afterward!

    • Thanks! 😀 I appreciate even little comments — I can see stats of how many visitors I get, but comments show how many people care to read to the bottom, and that makes me want to take the time to write when I know people read. 🙂

      Hope Georgia is treating you well!

  2. Tell a funny story from your past or, if you want to be serious, talk about your grandparents.

    • Thanks! I decided to teach about salsa, since I’ve been teaching Latin dancing for 3 years now but never have taught in Hebrew… I’ll talk about some history of the dance, some details about the variations, then teach everyone the basic and the simple turn. That should be enough to fill my time slot and be interesting to most people! (Plus, teaching dance is a great way to make some extra money while I’m here, so I may as well practice the Hebrew terms for it while I’m at it…)

  3. Golda Meir of course. Or the LGBT community somewhere. Or me!

  4. Has anyone ever told you that you are a nut!! It is so fun to see Israel through your eyes and I am still jealous!! Love the blogs and especially the pictures!!!

    • Oh, many, many times. I’m all for nuttiness. It keeps things interesting! Thanks! 🙂

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