Not having a Sunday means Fridays are reserved for family time and errands the cannot be run during the week. This Friday we rented a car to take full advantage of the day. Our plans were to go to Tel Aviv to refill on oxygen tank, then to Gush for the Cherry picking festival before heading to Jerusalem for Shabbat with my Rosh Yeshiva.
Friday was a day that simply did not work out as planned. The normal car rental place (who had plenty of cars of Pesach) was out of cars first thing in the morning by the time I called them. This meant going to the place that opens at 9:00 instead of 8:00 giving our day a late start. We pulled Channah out of school, if we were early we could head straight to Gush and if we were late we did not need to worry.
Driving through Tel Aviv when you do not know where you are going requires two people. You have to know which lane you need to be in before you hit the intersection and can see the street sign (asuming you can see it at all). Rachel has learned to use the Hebrew map book really well and has become an exellent navigator especailly in Tel Aviv. I always trust her 100% for her driving decisions because she is usually right. She had been having a rough morning on the navigation side and we ended up on a road along a less efficient route we used to take. The store was busy and took longer than we had planned. We ended up being behind schedule but with still enough time for the afternoon.
We headed direclty to the cherry picking festival. It was our first trip to the Gush together. At one point Rachel points, "Is that our Quarry?" I thought it was possible but there are a few around the outside of Bet Shemesh. Suddenly we were passing the water tower that we can see from our mirpeset on a clear day. It was really weird seeing our mountain from the side. We missed the turn off the first time because the handmade signs marking the dirt road had only been on the other side of the road.
As I mentioned before we don't have Sundays and the country is small, so even big events are not that big. This was nothing like Chudleigh apple picking. First we drove down a winding (almost one lane) dirt road with sharp turns and hills. At least a dirt road is some what flat. This had large rocks sticking out that had to be navigated. This is as close as you can get to off roading with only some risk of serious damage to your car. Rachel had a panic attack. We finall got to the end and they told us the sweet cherries had gone really early in the morning and there were only sour cherries. We decided to get out of there and head to prepare for Shabbat.
We went to my Rosh Yeshiva who lives in Ramat Shlomo. We had a really nice time. I used to have a much more positive view of the Yeshivah/Haredi world and I realized that it is a testament to the qualities of himself and the other Rabbis at the Yeshiva. He commented a couple of times about how Obama would be upset if he decided to close in his mirpeset. He asked a question at dinner. After spending time thinking about it, I came up with an answer that he said was fairly close to the Ramban. As the Ramban is the champion of rational Jewdaism, I like the approach I took to the answer.
We had a great time and this entire week is super crazy busy. I think the craziest ends when I take my driving test on Sunday.