Sorry for the lack of updates, but what an interesting, odd, and sometimes awful few days I’ve had.
Saturday night was Selichos, the beginning of the penitential prayers for the High Holidays. I decided to go back to the Kotel with Menucha and a few other girls. Mostly I decided this because my davening wasn’t so great on Friday night, but also partly because what better place to apologize ask for forgiveness from Hashem than the very place where His Essence is most connected to this world? So we went. And it was powerful, and moving, and heart-breaking. Men daveining at the top of their lungs, voices breaking as tears choked them. Women crying out in pain and sadness. And then song and dance. Why song and dance? At this most sad and moving of times, why? Because there is hope. Hope for a new year filled with blessings and simcha and revealed good in the world. May it be so, amen. And so with tears still streaming down my face, I walked away from the wall backwards, being careful not to turn my back on Hashem. And with that approaches another year, another chance, and another coronation of G-d as King.
Sunday brought on my first day of classes. No Chassidus on Sundays until daylight savings time ends (don’t ask me why), so tefillah and breakfast before class at 9:30. Our Navi (Prophets) teacher canceled, so we had Mishnah with R. Levinger instead and it was great 🙂 Difficult because ani mevinah k’tzat ivrit, v’lo tov. (I speak a little Hebrew, and not well.) But it was a great class all the same. Then was Ulpan Alef ( to help with that Hebrew) and then chavrusa (partner study) in more Hebrew… can you tell where I’m behind? After that was lunch and then our afternoon class was also canceled for the day, so several of us caught the bus to the mall in Jerusalem. I didn’t buy anything there but then Talia and I went to Ge’ulah (the ultra-orthodox part of Jerusalem) to pick up some school supplies. We made it back just in time for supper. After supper I wasn’t feeling so well, so I missed the evening class and chavrusa and stayed on the balcony upstairs to try and drink in some fresh air and cool water.
In what turned into the black plague of Mayanot 5770-5771, about 25 of the 40 girls at our seminary got sick with either some sort of stomach virus or the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever head of. Turned out that I actually caught it fairly late in the game, but as soon as I went to bed on Sunday night, I was right back up and out of bed and very very sick. And that lasted every half an hour until 2am. Then up again at 4 am, then up again at 7am. Then some crackers, some medicine, and back to sleep until 4pm, when I woke up for the first time without getting sick. More crackers, more medicine, back to sleep until 5am this morning. Cold shower, more medicine, more crackers, some fresh air for the first time in over 24 hours, and a plum (I was being daring). Disoriented and a bit nauseous, bit alive, B”H. Roughest day I’ve had in a long time, and I missed an entire day of class 😦 But as of right now I’ve recovered, ka”h.
Class went well today. Had an awesome chavrusa tonight on a maamar from the Frierdeker Rebbe on the Four Worlds… Got a bout a third of the way through it and it blew my mind a bit, but I can’t wait to finish it.
Tomorrow is a trip to Kever Rachel (our fore-mother’s grave). More on that later, until then Laila Tov!