Monday, October 12, 2009

Succot is totally made for Israel. It was always my favourite holiday, but since moving here it has gone from nice, to extraordinary.

Apart from the fact that we have a great shul with a ton of ruach and no need for alcohl to get everyone involved in the simchat trah atmosphere, and apart from the fact there was dancing and shiurim for women (I gave one of the talks on stones and gems in the Torah and got great feedback) and apart from the fact that there was so much to do that even someone who does not like crowds like me could spend all of succot having an awesome time- the fact of the matter is, the weather is perfectly suited to having succot now. My 5 year old was able to comfortably sleep outside in regular pj's and a sheet. Eating outside really felt joyful and relaxing rater than total PITA.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chagim, chol hamoed and random other stuff

I know it has been pretty much forever since I put up real update. Frankly, the more we settle into life the less it feels like anyone would be particularly interested in what we are up to!

We have hit the point where we are doing things again- I knew to expect the silly "gan meeting" tot take at least 3 times as long as one would think. I knew to anticipate the rediculous arguments and to just sit down, shut my mouth, and wait for them to pass. I knew we were going to be hit with a few hundred shekel of random fees- to just write the checks and turn them over and have no idea where my money was going.

But in all seriousness, school has started again and Channah is so far ahead of where she was last year it is amazing. She is super helpful to the new olah in her class, but just can not understand why she does not want ot participate in things or colour or any of the other "fun" stuff. She refuses to believe Jason and I when we try to explain that it is exactly what she was like at this point last year. Funny the thigns we forget...

The artwork and worksheets she is bringing home are adorable. I love looking out into my succah and seeing so many hand made decorations :) Maybe if y'all are nice to me I will post some pictures of some of it.

We switched ballet locations and the new class is so much better and more disciplined than where we were last year. She has a few friends from the street and from gan in her class so it is nice for her. One of the girls is also in her English class (her mom is the teacher). We are looking forward to her being able to read some of her own books... English classes start tomorrow morning so we will see how that goes.

We knew what to expect from shul on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We got pretty much what we expected (with the exception to a humongous temper tantrum YK afternoon that resulted in shorty being put out onto the mirpeset until she remembered how to behave in my house! After 2 1/2 hours of shrieking she finally calmed down and came inside and collapsed into a desperately needed 1 1/2 long nap!) We spent some of RH with friends and some here on our own. We got to meet some new neighbours and spent a lot of time at the local parks. It was good.

Succot has truly got to be the best thing about living in this country. Our new apartment has a succah frame on the mirpeset so putting up our succah took roughly 20 minutes (including the time it took to find the tarp hiding in a box in the machzan). We put the tarp up using plastic cable ties, rolled the schach out across the already in place poles and then put up the school-work decorations. We bought a grand total of 10 shekel's worth of tinsel and crepe paper decorations at the local "succah shuk" and added a set of arba minim and were all set.

For the first day (not plural :)) of yom tov we went to friends in Kiryat Sefer (very chareidi community and the largest settlement block over the green line). We took a bus to a mall nearish to them, then after doing a bunch of small errands at the mall took a cab the rest of the way. As usual when we go to there place we have a really nice time- not somewhere I would ever want to live, but worth the trek out there for he friends. There is only one bus there and one bus home on the Saturday night, so we waited for the only bus option and made it home) with a very, very sleepy Channah) by 11.

Today Lor called asking if we were interested in joining them on a trip to a local national park that was having a circus festival. After waffling over it for a few minutes I decided to take her up on it. Great decision :)

These were some of the grounds. It was a gorgeous park. People were making mini bbq's everywhere- the place smelled incredible! There was a succah for those who wanted ot make use of it, and a play park where kids could let off steam. There were also lots and lots of rocks for climbing.


We went in and explred the 3 rooms in the "castle"

There was a circus set up- ran for about 40 minutes every few hours, and in between there were roughly 200 sets of juggling toys out for the kids to play with- and preformers to give them tips and show them tricks.

Look at my little circus performer spinning plates

and playing with elasticked juggling balls (video below)


Of course n tiyul is omplete without the requisite nestle drumstick. Seriously- I think it might be illegal to forbid a kid their ice cream on tiyuling days...


video