First off, an exciting announcement! Yesterday I interviewed for the rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. I felt great about the interview itself, and left expecting to receive a letter in the mail in about 2 weeks (although let's be honest, with Doar Yisrael, it would've been more than that). Much to my surprise, I got a call around 10:15 last night, informing me of my acceptance! Here's to another year in Jerusalem (and of this blog!), and the next step on this wonderful, holy journey. The amount of love and support from my friends, family, teachers, and mentors over the past several months through the application process has been incredible, thanks to all of you for teaching, challenging, loving, and holding me.
Me, post-interview, outside the HUC Jerusalem campus (photo courtesy Benn Waters)
"In order to love Jerusalem, you need to leave it."
These wise words from another friend studying in Jerusalem sent me off to the desert again over our semester break a few weeks ago, this time to Kibbutz Ketura, a pluralistic kibbutz (communal living arrangement, historically socialist, much less so now in most cases) in the Arava Valley. I spent the first few days spending time with family, both those living on kibbutz and the Jerusalem family down visiting for the weekend. While I was there, we were blessed with a huge rainstorm - rain? in the desert? The anticipation around the kibbutz the day before was like in the Northeast the day before a huge blizzard (in fact, the kids even had a rain day from school on Monday!) I saw flowing rivers, waterfalls, and even had the chance to add some new words to my Hebrew vocabulary: a מפל (mapal) is a waterfall and a שיטפון (shitafon) is a flash flood. It rained all over the country that week, leading to the excellent news that Yam Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee) has risen almost a meter in the past two months. My cousin Shimon, a guide on the kibbutz, said he saw waterfalls flowing that he had never seen before, and that it was more rain than the kibbutz had seen in over a decade.