Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Lot To Cover

The last time I posted I was on the other side of the world in Jerusalem, over two months ago. I know it has been awhile but things were pretty crazy. I want to cover Israel first then I will get to the last month in a half.

For a guy who had never left North America going to Israel was a huge step, a new world where I knew no one or the language. I arrived in the Old City going on fifty four hours of no sleep and no idea what I had gotten myself into. Aish Ha Torah Yeshiva is a school of Jews who want to learn what Judaism is and how it all works. From the basics all the way up to deep Kabalah (no not Madonna's stupid red string).  Being a Christian in a Jewish school was very interesting. I didn't tell too many people about my back round so being Jewish by birth I fit in well, I also heard some very strange things. Most of which I shrugged off but some things just stuck with me. I am not going to get into too much detail right now, maybe next post. I will say that Old City Jerusalem is an amazing place and I had an incredible experiance. I wouldn't trade the trip for a million dollars. I met great people and made friends I hope to keep for the rest of my days. The learning was very intense, I submerged myself in the culture and ultimately bit of more than I could chew. I was full on kosher and shomer shabbos (mean I kept the sabbath). It was more than I could handle and I spun out after three weeks, the day after Passover. Some good advise from a very wise Rabbi had me grounded shortly after but not before I found a place I could go and blow off all the steam that built during long days of class, a dank old dorm room and mediocre meals. I'll get to that place next, but let me finish with Aish. I learned more in the three and a half months there then any other school I've ever attended. I even picked up a good bit of Hebrew, I have always wanted to be multi-lingual and it came so easy I am going to keep learning. I ultimately want to read the original Biblical text myself. That and I figure if I can get Hebrew down, learning another, maybe Japanese will be easier.

The other place I spent my time in was Scream, a heavy metal bar just outside the Old City. Talk about conflicting worlds (though not to me)! Scream was a place I could be myself, they played the music I love and no one was judging or insulting. At Scream I met even more great people, from the staff to the regulars, who I must add were mostly Russian (or Ukrainian), I heard almost as much Russian as Hebrew! Now I did drink, a lot, it"s not something I am proud of, but it was a way for me to relax and enjoy myself. I would have burned out and left much sooner if I didn't find Scream. It helped that my dorm neighbor Mark was a metal head as well, I had a p.i.c. and we had some great times.

When I left Jerusalem for the airport in Tel Aviv I was already almost twenty four hours without sleep and that didn't change for another twenty hours. Forty four hours later I was home and getting my first nights sleep. I spent the week vegging out and figured I would get on the job hunt. But not more than a week back and I ended up in the hospital with this crazy infection in my leg. My right leg had swollen to double it's size, I had a fever and the pain was horrible. Ten days later I left the hospital pretty much the same way I went in minus the fever. The Docs told me it was cellulitus and if i kept up on the medication it would pass in time. Now two months later it is still not completely healed. But I can walk and the pain is gone so, glass half full I guess. Most of you have already heard all these stories, but I wanted them on paper anyway.

I will be posting regularly now and am willing to answer any questions about my trip.

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