When we got home from the market—many bags shlepped onto a sherut, which hauled us up the mountain—we cleaned the refrigerator. It was a necessary task—that thing was seriously gross—and had the effect of making me feel at home in the kitchen. Then homework and preparation for Shabbat.
About ten of us went to the conservative shul for services last night. Very interesting—similar to the conservative services in the
Then home for dinner. Six of us sat around a table with the night above us and
This afternoon I went to lunch at Dina’s, who was one of my professors in Jewish Studies. Her daughter, who was just a baby the last time I saw her, is now a very cute, very feisty bi-lingual five year old, by turns adorable and obnoxious. A army friend, with her family—husband, son and one of two daughters—also came. It was a lovely, long afternoon, but completely exhausting. I spoke Hebrew as much as I could, but my understanding was so minimal—I think I get about 10% of what is said in normal conversation. But I can feel the language getting easier—the words are distinct, not a mishmash; it’s now the vocabulary I lack.
One interesting point came up in course of (English) conversation. I am realizing how complete as a Jew I feel here. I don’t feel split; I don’t feel the need to explain myself. I described that to Dina’s friend, a woman who has spent time with an organization connecting American and Israeli Jews. She commented that what she thought was interesting about American Judaism is its consciousness. Her children simply swim in the sea without thinking about why the weekend is Friday-Saturday, not Saturday-Sunday. The larger issue, of course, is being a minority versus being a minority. I think it is really important to know both feelings. As a member of a minority, one is always questioning without ever feeling completely at peace. As a member of a majority, one gets a sense of being grounded. The immediate response, by the way, is that everyone is, in one way or another both majority and minority. True enough, but I have to say, this feels different. And for all of those who said I would love