Wow! I'm a whole entire month behind in blogging! OY VEY!!! I don't even know where to begin with catching up on. I've been too busy to even blog--even Jessica was really behind in her blogging.
I don't have a lot of time so I'll keep it brief--we went to Sderot today, so its appropriate to watch Unsettled tonight.
Okay so classes--they are finished and we already had our first day of volunteering. The Jewish Medical Ethics class was really interesting and really challenged a lot of my views on Judaism and the Medical world. I finished my final last night, which was about MultiFetal Reduction and IVF. Judaism has a lot to say about abortions, and is much more lenient than other religions. Our professor, Dr. Leavitt, was a Medical Ethics professor at Beer Sheva University, he lives in Chevron and has 5 kids. He is a very interesting character. He doesn't go to doctors. He lives in Chevron, and that certainly says something. His wife teachers the Mystical class. He is originally from the states. and made aliyah like 30ish years ago.
In my intro to Tanach class, every class we looked at a different portion of each book. We obviously didn't get through all 27 books, but I finally read and investigated a lot of areas other than the Torah that I hadn't studied before. I think that the Song of Songs by Solomon are my favorite. I have to write a character analysis on Rachel. We got to pick the subject. And the kids with people in the Tanach with our same names are typically choosing those people. It is due Sunday, but I dont have time to work on it since tomorrow I leave for another BFL weekend and I was working on my Med Ethics paper till last night. So I'll be getting an extension.
Having classes all day long was exhausting. So I haven't explored Arad as much as I've wanted plus I seem to never be here.
Now we will be volunteering twice a week, all day long. I'm volunteering in the Artist Colony by the Ulpan building. It is like a kibbutz in that it is a socialist living center but not for farming, but art stuff. I'm working in Orange Beam where they produce organic massage balms and other healing creams and what not. I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing there, probably just packaging things but it seems to be pretty cool. I'm the only one volunteering there and a lot of people wanted it.
Shevet--We had a spiritual day in the Sand Dunes that was amazing. It was a very small group probably because there was a party the night before or something, i can't really remember. anyways...we drove like 3 hours and met up with this new yorker who had made aliyah a long time ago. he lives on Kibbutz Ketura--a kibbutz created in the 70s by a bunch of kids that were on year course that didn't want to leave israel. Year course made them go home but they all came back and created this kibbutz, paradise, in the middle of the desert. We learn about the biblical history of the desert, and the foundations of some old synagogues and then go on a 20ish min hike up a hill, and on the other side are sand dunes. the sand is the softest stuff in the world. you just melt into it. people were rolling down the hills and running around. we had all taken our shoes off. we then regathered and received a sheet with a question on it to be opened once we have all dispersed to our own place in the desert and meditated for a while. So after we all found our spots and we were alone with our thoughts we heard the shofar and allowed to open the sheets which asked how we feel about being in the desert and what we think about G-d and what not. I really enjoyed playing in the sand with the pencil and wrote about how nothing lasts forever, from the wind blowing the sand away the words i had drawn and how when there are obstacles in your way people either fall in the whole or move around the "pencil." the wind was blowing really hard so sand got every where...even into my camera:( and hasn't worked since. We then ran/walked down the hill and walked a bit to a truck where some kibbutz members were setting up a barbeque. There was dough that we pinched out to make pitas that were then baked on a bedouin dome thing that sits over the fire. we had difficulties starting the fire and keeping the pitas on the dome...mhmmm sandy pitas. we then added humus and filafel. it was very good. then we went to the kibbutz where we took a tour of it. hey dad, they had a chiropractor there! We then had two options--go water paint or shalack napkins onto ceramics. We were supposed to have a water lesson but they just let us go wild, which meant that katie and jessica painted on each other. We then relaxed a little bit and then learned about Judaism and the desert and the environment. every one has different opinions about the hierarchy between man and nature. it was very interesting. we then had a proper bbq with students who are doing their masters on the kibbutz on the environment. we then rushed to beer sheva where we made the bus to Jerusalem b/c we had desert queens in the morning(to be talked about later).
so we had a shabbat biyachad at the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel. We got up Friday morning and drove to a dead sea spa where we could go to the sulfur pools. Jessica Naomi and I walked the 15 mins to the actual Dead Sea. Jessica found actual mud--which is really difficult to do b/c Ahava and all the other companies have exported the stuff. We spent a while there and then grabbed the shuttle back to the spa, covered in Mud. We took some pictures then showered off and grabbed lunch. and then Katie saw us....she wasn't too happy that we went without her. We looked for her before we went but couldn't find her so we just went. We did feel bad about not going with her. So she through both Jessica and I into the pool which was really nice. Then we all changed and went to the Hostel to relax and get ready for shabbat. We see the Ausies, from the Desert Queens day, there. (will explain later). I'm in a room with Jessica, Katie, Cara, and Julia. It was a really relaxing weekend. The Rabbi from Jerusalem taught us a couple of times when we were Jerusalem so it was nice to see him again. Jessica Katie and I were supposed to give a Divar Torah during Kiddush on Saturday about Pesach, but Jessica and I had gone back to the room to go do something so Katie did it by herself :( so again she was pretty "mad" at us. During the Seudat Shlishit I give a Dvar Torah about this blind boy and his freedom when he was able to see--> which refers to Pesach b/c we are all supposed to relate to our own coming out of slavery. So there were a lot of people at the hostel from Jerusalem so a bunch of us tried to get rides to Jerusalem. (Pesach break started Sat night)
Pesach Break to be continued...thats all for now.
lila tov, guess where i'm going tomorrow, yep thats right Jerusalem. I have been to Jerusalem every week since Purim (february)...its getting to be a bit ridiculous but i have things to do there so thats life.