Thursday, 23 February 2012

The First Real Week of Etgar

I thought I was meant to be done with all this first day of school business.

Sunday 19 February

I'm in the begginers class. Were doing basic stuff. It's quite hard, and most of it is conversational. I really like my teacher though, she seems really nice. (As of my second lesson, I'm getting better. I can undetrstand simple words n sentances but can't talk.)

Our maddies Noa and Guy ran an amazing peulah about role models. We watched a French movie called: The Choir. I really suggest you see it.

The study of Torah. This week we did the story os Abraham and Sarah. The one where he kicks Hagar and his first son out of his house. Rude right? I know. It was really interesting and we had a load of discussions and debates about it.

Monday (Refered to as Sprite Day from now on) 20 February:

On Mondays, we have history all day. This includes going on outings to historical sites, peer led hadracha (leadership) and a little prelude in the classroom just so we know whats going on with the day. Our lecturer is an amazing guy. He is an American and has the longest, curliest, greyest hair and he's so cool. I wanna be him.

We went to the Temple Mount/ Dome of the Rock. We had a little tour with fun facts and exciting things.
It was silent around the dome. There were a lot of tourists but it was still silent and peaceful. I liked it better there than I did by the Kotel. I felt more at ease, even though it was meant to be really dangerous, and I'm sure sometimes it is, but I didn't feel that at all today.

We also toured the large Church. I'm not sure what its called. We saw where Jesus was supposedly burried and all the different rooms where the different sects of Christians pray. We saw the rooms where the tombs are supposed to be and where they layed Christs body before the crucification.

The rooms are adorned with awe inspiring mosaic. Each different and unique. Some are more faded than others, whilst some, more elaborate still remain intact. The art and sculpture around the church is breathtakingly beautiful even in its slightly dilapidated state. Brass lanterns hang from the high arched ceiling.

We ended the day back on the roof overlooking the whole city.

Tuesday 21 February

Reform Judaism:
By far the best lecturer we have. He is from New York. He makes jokes all the time, has an interesting take on lifeand I might go to a cool Pesach Seder that he has. He is a classic New York Jew, speaking with the thickest accent. He does funny voices and impressions. He akes all the jokes Jeff wishes he could make but we can't not let hi because hes our lecturer wich makes it all there more fun when he takes the mickey out of everyone. We were studying the first two chapters of Genesis. We came to the conclusion that the Torah was written by two different people because of the words used and also the story differs slightly in some cases. This was only after about an hour of our lesson was taken up by him learning all our names.
He is my favourite.

Yom Tnuah:
This is the part of the week where we meet up with all the other Netzernicks on Shnat. It alternates between being here in Beit Shmuel which is where I live and Kiriyat Moriah where Lily and all the Machonnicks live. We had an intense, yet slightly confseing conversation about capitalism and how it relates to relationships on shnat and in life. We ate pizza and salad. Best salad ever. Just by the whaaay. It was Jades birthday so we went out for drinks that night to the dirty shnatty pubs that I've given up on avoiding. It was all the etgar people and some of her friends from Machon. There were a lot of Australians and some guys from Hinani. But we'll get to that later.

Wednesday 22 February

Probably the best part of my Etgar expirience so far. I'm in a group with Emily and Liz. We have to take a bus and the tram two ways to get to a school for troubled kids. Teeenagers, who cant speak much English. Were going to run games, peuot and other activities to get them talking. They're very shy about it. I really like all the teachers we've met and I think it'll be a great expirience to teach them. They're all amazingly charismatic and eager to learn and talk. They just don't do it in  a language I understand.

We were told to think of a prject for our lives. I've chosen to try and make some sort of effort to stop corruption in South Africa in the hopes that eventually it'll lead to Equal Education for all the kids i Kliptown who really need it. No more of this OBE business.

Thursday 23 February

Kehila Time:
We all just sit on our laptops and think of silly questions to ask rabbis.

The same rabbi that took our ma'amad on Netzer Sem runs these sessions. Today it was all about singing songs with different tunes and how we can relate things in Torah to the culture that has developed in Judaism and specifically in Israel.

That's a class schedule update from the week. Hopefully it'll be more and more interesting as we do loads of things. I love all the lecturers so much.