Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dear People (Day 73),

Learned a lot today...and not just education wise. Right now I'm a nerd for the New Testament and addicted to antiquity. Having two classes is just perfect.

I had a lot of reflecting moments about why I am here. The answer seems obvious...or at least it did to me before I came. I pictured myself using every single second of this trip to either be seeing sights or learning lessons.

I've kept this view for pretty much the whole time here. I figure I talk to these people enough when we are out or at meals, that I don't feel a strong desire to see them in the evenings. Usually I play all daylight hours and seclude myself after dinner to actually get some studying done.

That's why I was unsettled at a few circumstances that I witnessed today:

#1 There was a blood drive in the center and I was fascinated at the number of people willing to face their fears and would put themselves through an uncomfortable next few months for the well being of complete strangers. I, however, did not donate, owing to the memory of the awful feeling I had for more than 3 months my senior year of high school. My body felt awful and slow and...I just didn't like it at all. I'm struggling for strength as it is, I thought. Which to me, that is understandable. But also kind of selfish in a way.

#2 Bad situation: 8 of us were sitting in the van, waiting for Geoff and Dana in order to leave for the Knesset tour at 2:00. Geoff comes out and says, "Rachel Mesek and Amy just donated blood but they are coming." "Geoff," we respond, "we're late enough as it is and we don't have room for all 4 of you. Call a cab." And we left. Little did we know, Geoff and Dana had been running around for like 15 minutes trying to get the two sickliness all ready for leaving the center. I felt horrible. Why were sites given more importance then helping others? Was there anything I could have done? At the time, it was understandable. But also kind of selfish in a way.

#3 I got all my homework done early because really wanted to go to this concert tonight. It was supposed to be this great cultural experience. And besides, it was free and there is nothing to do at the center at night. People kept bailing out and I started getting really frustrated: I would have just gone by myself if security would have allowed me to. But in a moment of Luke and Rachel Mackay's pleading faces, I took a deep breath and stayed in tonight. We read the actual story of "al-adin" (Aladin) as a bed time story. And you know what? It was kind of wonderful. I remembered how great it was to just be with the people I love, even when we aren't on some grand adventure...or perhaps this is just me justifying my decision. But I think I'm beginning to understand. I guess I was kinda unselfish in a way.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm here for more than just sites and learning. Perhaps I'm here to learn to just be happy with the people I love.

Speaking of which: I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE! The people I am growing closer to in the center, as well as the local people I now hold close to my heart. Today we went to the legislative government building (the Knesset) and to an exhibition detailing the life of Hasidic Jews (the Israel Museum). I'm sure many people have had experiences like this, but I really want to connect with them. I feel like being here has given me such a better understanding for these people. I love my Israeli life. -ChloƩ Michelle

The Knesset:

beautiful symbolism on the wall of "heavenly" and "earthy" Jerusalem
picture of the "visionary of the State": Benjamin Ze'ev Herzl
Plenum seats shaped like a menorah

Chagall Hall. that's right, mom. know and love him.
the past, present, and future of Jeru. very personal. very moving.
JERUSALEM! and king david
at the time Chagall did this mosaic, you could not get to the
Western Wall. how beautiful is this symbolism?
photo credit: google images search
7 species of Israel menorah

12 tribes of Israel gold door

the eternal flame

go yis-ry-el!

The Israel Museum:

why don't i have more calligraphy in my life?

old yeshiva

family tree of Ba'al Shem Tov

they are not so different from me, you know.
they teach their kids past rebbes. we teach ours past prophets.

:) Aladin bedtime story time:

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