Posted by: RaeAn | 21 November 2010

Honey, I’m baaaaaaaack!

Holy smokes, people. You really need to bug me more so I don’t go this long without an update. I mean, seriously, people, in the entire month and a half, only one person has bugged me about not posting. (Thanks, Mario!) I keep getting hits to the site, so I know y’all are checking it all the time and just not saying anything like, “I’M BORED, UPDATE ME ON YOUR LIFE!” As you all very well should be with 6 weeks of silence from me. Seriously, people. Get with the program.

My life hasn’t been terribly interesting since then, but it has been busy. I’m not going to fit everything into one post, so I’ll start from the North Tiyul (tiyul = trip) and see how much writing I feel like doing and continue another day.

So, before the North Tiyul, I got sick. A sort of cold-ish thing. No big deal. It mostly cleared up before the Tiyul so I went anyway, even though I probably should have stayed home and rested. Take that, body. I’ll show you who’s boss.

I wasn’t in tip-top shape, so I didn’t get to do everything, but it was still a fantastic trip nonetheless!

Full photo album is here:


Standing above the Kineret (Sea of Galilee) on our way to the far-north part of Israel.

At אי השלום, the Island of Peace, which is a place at the border of Israel and Jordan which is sort of neither. This is the famous power-plant there, which provided power for several towns in northern Israel in the 1930s.

More info on the Israel of Peace and the power plant:


The famous poet Rachel's grave at the Kineret Cemetery. Also buried there: Naomi Shemer, Berl Katznelson, Ber Borochov, Moshe Hess... plenty of important people in the history of Israel and Zionism. Some of the other graves are in the full album.

At Tel Hai, a small Israeli outpost that played a big role in the war for independence. It says "K'an nif'ga Trumpeldor" => "Here Trumpeldor was hit." He lost his arm right there. He's kinda famous for it.

More Trumpeldor info:


At the Banyas, where there's an ancient temple to the god Pan. We were supposed to go hiking through the area, but it was too hot, so we skipped to the end where there was a nice cool spring to dip our feet into. (Oh yeah, did I mention that it was getting up to 40*C in mid-October? That's about 100*F. WTF. Global warming is winning here, folks.)

This trip wasn't all about learning -- we had fun, too! We celebrated a few birthdays on the bus on the way back to the hostel.

Songsession after our night safari! (Don't ask about the night safari. It was dumb. We saw a cat and some cranes or something. Nothing good.)

We got to see the Ayalim project in Kiryat Shmonah, which is an awesome thing.

For info on Ayalim, click here.


We took a small hike at Tel Dan to the excavation site which HUC has been working on for years. It’s like the HUC pet project. But I love this photo.
Gadi explains the 6-chamber gate at the entrance to the ancient city at Tel Dan. He’s standing where the King’s throne would have been sometimes.
At the excavation site, there’s a whole route through these bunker things. Kinda neat.

And that’s about it for the North Tiyul… after this, we prayed mincha, hopped on the bus, and I got off the bus at the Kiryat Shmonah bus station to hop a bus to Tel Aviv to see Gal for the weekend.

Oh, yeah, also, in case you haven’t received the memo yet, I have a boyfriend. His name is Gal. He’s Israeli and does cool things with photography and video. And he lives in Tel Aviv so we only see each other on weekends. But yay for boyfriend!


That’s us up north. D’awww.

Hm… what else since mid-October… well, I’ve run several events at the Jerusalem Open House, which is going awesome. I love working with JOH. We had a movie night, a Halloween party, and I taught a Latin lesson, all of which went well. Also, I miss dancing. So, so much. I need to find the Ballroom/Latin scene here, stat.

My whole being-sick thing came back after the Tiyul and kinda stuck around off-and-on for 5 weeks. It was unpleasant. Doctors couldn’t figure out what it was except either a cold or allergies. Which is possible… Jerusalem can’t decide if it’s winter or summer here. There’s no in between. It’s either blazing hot or freezing, and it’ll go between the two within a day. And rapid temperature shifts like that apparently tend to make people sick. Go figure.

Also, midterms are kicking my butt. Liturgy, Biblical History, Hebrew, Second Temple History done… aaaaalmost done with the Rabbinic Texts midterm. It’s due Tuesday. Wish me luck. Grawr.

Have I mentioned that 10 classes is a lot to keep track of? It is. It’s stressful. That’s why I’ve been remiss in updating. That and being sick. I’ve spent all my time either doing work or being sick. But I feel much better now! Yay!

In other news… I bought a mandolin, which I’ve started playing at Havdallah, which is lots of fun. I also got a guitar. Pictures will be up soon. They’re both pretty.

Oh! Winter break plans are finalized! My sister will be here at the end of December (she’s doing Birthright, then sticking around with me a bit), and she and I and my friend Mandy and my sister’s friend Abby will be going to Amsterdam for New Years. I’ve never been there before, and we’ll be there for about 5 days, so it should be a lot of fun. I’m very excited about all the museums (Anne Frank, etc.) and being someplace interesting for New Years. And after we get back, my mom will probably be here in Israel for the rest of my break — it’ll be her first time in Israel since her year in Israel at HUC when she was my age, so it’ll be great to show her around the country again!

I think that’s the basic bare-bones update on my life. All is basically well, having some trouble dealing with the stress, but this, too, shall pass — for better or for worse.

Shavua tov, and more updates coming soon, I hope…

~ Rae



  1. Dear Rae:
    Great to hear from you, glad you are better. I was wondering about not hearing from you, nice to connect again. It sounds like you are going to be very busy in late December so I was wondering if we will get together on the 24th? No pressure, if it doesn’t work that’s OK too. This shouldn’t be a stressor. Keep the blogs coming and stay well.

    • Hi Lisa!

      Oh, no, the 24th is still a go! I need to send you an email about that with details, but my family isn’t here until the 29th (well, sister gets here on the 19th, but Birthright has her hostage until the 29th), and that Tuesday evening before I believe we talked about is also still held for you. But the 24th I can definitely do dinner — I’ll send you an email about services since I have to be on campus for a little while for an event I was asked to help run (the Communal Service students from HUC-LA are visiting that day), but I’ll definitely see you, don’t worry! Hope all is well in MD!
      ~ Rae

  2. You must update every week or I will get sad–and I def. did agree it has been a long time. If your nose is really stuffy and your cheeks and forehead are tender, I’d say sinus infection which can go and come and turn into an ear infection. Joy.

    Also, I’ve been to Amsterdam, so if you want any tips, I’m glad to give them! Just ask about something.

    • I updated only 4 days later! See how good I am! Granted, it’s not a real update, but still. I’ll be good from now on. I hope.

      The cold-ish-feeling is gone, so I think I’m basically better now. I was on some antibiotics, so that would have killed the sinus infection if that had been it. Who knows.

      And I’m always up for Amsterdam tips! What non-museum-y things do you recommend? (I already have like 6 museums on the list… I think my travel-mates will eat me if I try to add even more to that…)

      • I’d definitely walk around the canals and check out the houseboats, as well as the red light district and it’s coffee shops. I can’t remember the name of the company, but you can also get a free tour of the city (they work for tips) which is pretty cool. It’ll probably be too cold, but I know there are a lot of bike rental places so you can bike around the area. I also took a day and went to Antwerp from Amsterdam, which was fun. Also, be careful, they were redoing one of the museums when I was there and only 3/4 of the regular display was available but entrance was still 10 Euros.

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