Monday, 20 February 2012

Living Existentially.

Friday 18 February:

Shabbat Evening:
We had a small intimate Kabablat Shabbat with the other Netzernicks from Machon. R. and N. My two South African friends also on their gap years, spending a few months here n there joined our group. We sang and prayed, the music from the guitars filled the air as we all managed to belt out terribly out of tune psalms amidst the delicate glow of our Shabbat Candles. It's only when they're around hat I realise how much I miss them. We had a "Who are we" moment in the hallway, but they had to, unfortunately brace the cold, wet streets of Jerusalem and head home.

I spent the better part of my evening having an existential crisis in the kitchen, witch resulted in a mass Dish Washing escapade. L. consoled me as I struggled to hold back tears and worries that the apartment didn't feel like home. It was an awful feeling. Like I didn't belong. Like I had to be homeless and without anywhere comforting to just exist. In a way I think I was just tired and sad and a little homesick and overwhelmed with people. We resolved to visit our Israelie friends the next morning, just to spend a little time away from the intence atmosphere of Shant.

I made Jeff and Jake pinky promise that we'll be the three best friends ever.

We woke up bright and early, showered, dressed and set off, coats, hats and looking a little to cul-tish, to our friends house. She was studying, but we drank tea, ate challah and took a little nap in the living room. I felt so at ease. Being somewhere that felt just a little more familiar and safe.

She came running into the room, threw open the windows screaming excitedly about the snow outside. We were up before we had even realised what was going on. Pulling on hats and scarves and a million extra layers of clothing. We were down the stairs like bullets and out into the street. We waited patiently in the cool air, but the snow had stopped. We decided coffee would be a good idea, and an escape from the chill.

That afternoon held the most amazing adventures, that I feel like I've recounted about a hundred times, each with more exaggeration and fervent than the last. There was a lot of Puddle Jumping, and silly picture taking.

We caught snowflakes on our tongues and jumped in puddles.

We met an extravagant American from New York whilst trying to crash an Ethiopian wedding. He invited us to Sleuda Shlishit in Nahalot (a small neighbourhood just up the road) We were meant to meet him at 5, but we were late. Nevertheless we thought we would go adventuring, and adventuring we did go. In Nahalot, we met an English man. He had just made Aliyah and, like us, was also looking for a place to eat the third Sabbath meal. We were all unsuccessful.

Back at the Etgar flat, wich was gradually starting to feel more like home, a plot was brewing:

The chill in the night air was almost unbearable, and the slight incline of Jerusalem streets was hard to navigate in its dampened state. The excitement among the group was rising steadily with each step. The thought of an underground rave was as out of the ordinary as the fact that you, a complete foreigner, knew about it. The small flier had directed you to an abandoned Yeshivah Colledge near the Shuk. Teenagers dressed in costumes and abnormal clothing brought the eerie streets alive. You follow them into the dishevelled building. You were all a little nervous. Flashing lights were attached to the walls at regular intervilles. The silence disconcerting. Only the gentle squelch of feet could be heard. Your breath is hot on the air, forming clouds of steam as you exhale. Up the stairs, you can see small fires burning hot in iron cauldrons. People clustered around them, everything dark. The gentle mutter of confusion as the building slowly fills with people. The music starts and crowd is one convulsing body of people. A sea of bodies moving in time with the music.

Shabbat Shalom from the Holy Land