Friday, 2 March 2012

3 South Africans, 5 Roses and the Beach

Thursday 23 February:

The weekends in this country confuse my body. They start early and end early too, and theres not much to do in between because of the whole "Holiness" vibe. You have to understand that when the weekend comes early, Thursday nights are party nights, Friday nights are chilled nights and Saturdays are like Sundays. So, if you want to go anywhere, like Tel Aviv or Lotan, you have to leave on Thursday night/afternoon.
This leaves the flat almost quiet and empty. Experiencing it for the first time this weekend made me appreciate when there's people everywhere. The quiet is disconcerting, I guess.
Instead of doing the usual bar crawling that people do here (Grinding in dirty shnattie pubs to "My Humps") we took the party to the park and played silly drinking games. Maybe Americans are just bad at drinking, or I didn't drink enough, although probably both, but somehow, on less than a bottle of Vodka, 10 people got absolutely wasted.

Good thing I could sleep in on Friday Morning, oh wait, I had to wake up early, like 5am.

Friday 24 February:

Women of the Wall
I'm not exactly sure how I felt going to this. It was odd. Having been to the wall before and not having had much of a significant experience there, because well, its a wall... I had such conflicting conflicting things in my soul. It was cool to see how people pray, a mix of reform and orthodox methods, but I also felt very disconnected. There were a lot of cameras filming the women as they prayed which kind of freaked me out. Its like filming someone using the bathroom. Its like imposing on their privacy...
I liked the fact that as a group of religious women, they were standing up for their rights to equal treatment and being allowed to pray their way where they wanted to.
The women were all so passionate about it, but what about the women who think its fine to have a less equal share of the wall? What about their beliefs? Why do we think that its all right for us o try and change other peoples beliefs when we get so offended when they try and change ours. Were standing here as reform Jews saying "Women and Men should be equal! Accept our beliefs too! Were all Jews!" and turning around and trying to change what they think is right.
Why are we, as reform Jews, allowed to tell other people that what they think is wrong, but get so defensive when the tables are turned on us?

It just doesn't make sense. Why are we such hypocrites?

That was the existential crisis I had during the service.

After that brief interlude of self pity and wondering it was off to Tel Aviv to pretend I belong to a family and I'm not just a lost/homeless South African.
We stayed with Rosa n Lilys family in Yavne.
We all snuggled into her enormous bed with thousands of big cozy blankets and sleeped. It was the best sleep I've ever had in my life. I woke up about 6 or 7 hours later to a steaming hot cup of Five Roses. It was Shabbat Dinner so the whole family came over. You'd think I'd be used to just joining peoples families by now, but I was still frowking owt and being the old Shy and Weird Kathryn. There were little kiddies running around and playing which made e feel more at home in a way.
We decided that this night would be the one where we learn how to speak Hebrew. We never got to finish our book, but we got up to page 8.
After an intense dish washing experiences, it was some Arak and Vodka and Massages and back  to bed for more well awaited sleeps.

Saturday 25 February:
It was so warm there. Oddly, outside was warmer than Rosa's bedroom, but it was amazing to not have to wear six THOUSAND layers. We walked around barefoot and lay in the sunshine so beautifully. The plans for the day were to go exploring in Tel Aviv.

The smell of fresh, warm sea breese filled the three Joburgers as the ran down the piere in search of ice cream. Success! A quaint yogurt shop would be the next victim of their bad Hebrew and indecisive tendencies. They sat on fake rocks eating spoonfuls of deliciously chilly, despite the weather, frozen yogurt from a quaint shop around the corner.
Flashing lights from cars and busses slowly filled the streets as the country woke from its temporary slumber. They walked and walked and walked, taking in the sights of the new city. Rain gently falling on their heads.

What seemed like the end of the journey was really only the beggining. We heard shouts and chanting from down the road and quickly made our way to see what all the fuss was about. There were children and mothers and almost entire families protesting. From what we gathered with broken hebrew, and asking people for translations they were protesting the act of deporting children who were born in the country.

Finally, we finnished our day with some well deserved coffee in the park with cake we bought from the grocery store.

It was so beautiful.

I love being able to share things. No one in my flat shares. They write their names on their food, and if you eat it they all get ad.