I'm in Italy right now but I have unlimited internet access at this youth hostel. I wanted to right about my Italy experiences so far, but I felt it would be improper to do so without making some sort of segway into that about the last month in Jerusalem (too bad I never got to write about those experiences in the proper times). I think I may be too tired to go through all of that today, so be'ezrat Hashem I'll do that tomorrow night. It is my vacation, so I feel entitled to do whatever I feel like it, even if that includes blogging.
*First Shabbat of Chanukkah we were in Yerucham (as the Yerucham track of course). We drove down Friday and saw the lake and Hagar's well that afternoon and lots of obnoxious motorbikers. The whole weekend, we had Yoram with us, who is our Yerucham coordinator - good guy. We lit Chanukkah candles on our homemade chaunkkiyot (mine was problematic the whole way through) and davened and ate together. We had two guests that night - a lady, Leah, who is very active in the Yerucham community and has lots of prominence even throughout the state (she was in a court case which she compared to a Rosa Parks situation) and then we had a Chassidic rabbi do a tisch with us, and he told the Lechoved Shabbos story that I like from camp. Shabbat morning we got very lossed to schul and showed up at the end of Torah reading to my chagrin, had a shiur with an American immigrant to Yerucham about Tikkun Olam, and in the afternoon after lunch and rest we had a tour of Yerucham (didn't take too much to get through all of the town - we spent a lot of the weekend making jokes about the reality and existence of life in the town). Saturday night a couple of us had already gone to check out pizza in town and were not disappointed. We saw a concert of Indian music at the brand-new concert hall at the community center - we made up half of the hall, and we enjoyed dancing to the music, mucho. Just ask my bff Adina Allen (there's your shoutout :)). After that we found a playground close by, and it had stuff suitable for kids our age. Can't even describe how fun that was - ziplines, tower with slide, swings, see saws, the whole thing. Sunday we went to Sde Boker (a bit of a different program than the usual luckily) and, despite lots of complaints beforehand, we pulled off a hike at Ein Ovdat (if I remember correctly).
*Chanukkah was nice in Jerusalem - I unfortunately did not take tremendous advantage of the chag and should have gone to Me'ah she'arim at night but did not. But wherever we saw candles it was nice, and we lit candles in a room that has windows at the Keren Ha'Yesod/Agron intersection, and the many chanukkioyt looked beautiful. A place on Keren Kayemet had good latkes and I went. Classes ended early in the week in honor of the holiday.
*We had another B'yachad seminar the week of Chanukkah, which is the program for camp counselors to enhance their abilities in stuff related to Israel at camp.
*I stayed in Jerusalem for Shabbat and ate meals at Beit Nativ - nice 'n chill.
*The bittersweet moment came the week after where I ended Yeshiva. I am very sad that I will no longer be immerssed in Torah all day the way I was in the Yeshiva, and I'm very thankful for the great experiences my teachers gave me. I've already been back to visit and will always miss it.
*Thursday that week David and I went to IC - it was a very fun week, in short, but I was always counting down the days to going back to Jerusalem.
*When I got back, I had one more week in Jerusalem in which I packed up and just hung around. Everyone was done with school, and Hebrew U people were writing papers. That Shabbat was closed and we had a nice time together. Saturday night was crazy with all of the Birthright people in Jerusalem - the entire Ben Yehuda area and bar scene around there was jam packed.
*Last but not least, we had a great week at the archaeological dig. We spent our mornings digging, afternoons hiking and/or looking at other archaeological sites, and evenings were chill. We dug mostly at a theater newly discovered in Tiberias, though we also did a little at a synaogogue excavated just two months ago. At the theater, we were in groups the whole week and dug the same area, so looking at progress was great. I was with Gabe C (haha), Gelb, and Joe, and right next to us were Seth, Seffi, Adina, and Joey, and we had a lot of fun together. The places we saw in the afternoons were Beit She'an, Nachal Tavor, and Gamla. And then at nights, boy, did I watch more movies this week than I ever have before! Chill stuff.
From there comes Italy... and that will be done soon.