Hear ye, hear ye! It is now officially the month of Adar, a time of joy and rejoicing! Everywhere one looks there are Purim costumes, pre-packaged (ooh, the prices!) Moshloach Manot, firecrackers going off, and most enjoyable of all (to me) - the donkeys pulling carts of people through the streets, or down at the mercaz with saddle bags of groceries ridden by yeshiva bochurim (young men learning Torah). Okay, I've been trying really, really hard not to write this, but I just can't help myself: I've never seen so many asses before!
For those of you who don't understand, the holiday of Purim is next week. It's one of those holidays of "They tried to kill us, we won, let's eat" kind of things. It's the story of physical annihilation of the Jews by a bad guy named Haman (may his name be blotted out) and Hashem turns things upside down with the help of Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordechai. Haman ends up being hanged, the Jews lived to tell the story, and every year we celebrate with singing and dancing and the reading of the megillah (the story of Purim). There's a lot more to it than that, but suffice it to say that Purim is a BIG deal in this country. There's also a mitzvah to give money to the poor (of which there are WAY too many here) to be distributed on the day of Purim, and to give baskets of food (usually a lot of candy) to other families. I made a really nice postcard saying that in lieu of giving Shalach Manot we're donating to Yad Ezra V'Shulamit, although I'll make a couple of baskets for our friends with kids. I hope we don't get very many; I don't need the extra food!
On Monday night I went to a get-together for people who made aliyah to Beit Shemesh last summer. Disappointingly, only about 12 people came, but we all talked about our aliyah and it was pretty nice.
And on Tuesday, I went to Har Nof in Jerusalem to a writer's workshop. Does that mean I can officially call myself a writer?
"No, goofy, what kind of a writer do you think you are?"
"Well, I write a blog that almost 900 people have read in the past 3 months!"
"Is that so? Don't you think some of those 900 are the same people who have read your blog more than once?"
"Duh!!! Doesn't that prove I'm a good writer?!"
The writing workshop was about dialogue, and learning techniques of using dialogue to create a scene, or to enable the reader to learn more about the characters. And what have you as the reader learned from the above dialogue? There are no right or wrong answers to that question. I myself think it shows a definite lack of sleep since I was talking to myself...
Assignment for next week is to write two pages of a childhood memory regarding a Yom Tov (holiday). I'm not sure Leah (the writer who teachers the course) has any understanding of my total lack of memory.
Which reminds me.
I started seeing a chiropracter for the pain in my neck and shoulders and back that I've had for years. After physical therapy, cranial-sacriol therapy and massage failed to help, I thought, "Why not?" I took the doctor the CD of the back x-ray I had taken recently, and he showed me where there's been deterioration between my 4th and 5th (5th and 6th?) vertebrae. "See right here? You're out of disc space."
Later that night while David and I were having a lovely supper (it's good to throw in a couple of descriptive adjectives once in awhile), David pointed out to me that I had repeated myself about something and suggested that perhaps I was "out of memory." Okay, so all this time I thought I was a human being when all along I've been nothing but a computer? No disc space, no memory. I need an Upgrade!
We're having 3 couples for Shabbos dinner tomorrow night; all friends from ulpan. One of them is bringing her 20 year old daughter who's getting married in 3 weeks; we're going to be hosting one of the sheva brachot for her. I've been cooking like crazy all day; you'd think I was having an army. My hands are chapped from washing so many dishes and pots and pans. I miss my dishwashers I used to have. But what makes me really crazy is not having David around any more on Thursdays since he started working. He used to have no problem running (walking, skipping, whatever) up the hill to the micholet for all the things I needed while I was cooking for Shabbos. I had to drag myself up that hill twice this morning! Nobody told me that when you make stuffed cabbages, you have to buy large cabbages or you can't fold them up with the meat mixture inside. You live and learn.
There were so many other things I wanted to say this week, but my head is literally drooping (nice imagery, wouldn't you say?). Stay tuned.