We just finished our first Shavuot in Israel -- I counted the Omer every single day since the second night of Pesach for the first time! I wish I could say that my middos improved and that I learned Pirke Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers) during that time, but I'm working on baby steps. Itty bitty baby steps.
I actually finished reading today one of the most awesome books I've ever read: Holy Woman by Sarah Yocheved Rigler. She's an incredible writer who wrote about an incredible woman, Chaya Sarah Kramer. Chaya Sarah and her husband, R. Yaakov Moshe, lived their lives with the only thought of what they could do for others. They gave and gave and gave, while they themselves had nothing materially -- and everything spiritually. It was such an inspiring book! It made me ashamed of all my pettiness and selfishness and made me realize how very much I need to improve my speech and actions. I espouse ideals I don't bother living by; I hurt people without meaning to and don't learn from my mistakes; I sometimes don't take responsibility for the things I do wrong or haphazardly -- the book really puts a mirror in the reader's face and makes you think.
So last week we had our interview at Kochav Yaakov. You have to be accepted into the yishuv. While we didn't really feel that there would be a problem, we were still on pins and needles until we called on Sunday and were told we'd been accepted. Yay! In case it wasn't clear in my last posting, we're renting the bottom half of a house which includes the yard. Tomorrow I'm taking the bus into Yerushalayim, and David and I are meeting with Yeron, the landlord, to sign the lease. Then the work begins. I called two different moving companies and hopefully they'll get back to me tomorrow. Then I have to find boxes and start packing. Funny, seems like we just unpacked! I am so not looking forward to the packing. Even though our lease where we live now doesn't end until the middle of July, our lease in KY begins June first. I'm hoping if we can get moved by the middle of June, somebody else can take over our lease in Ramat Beit Shemesh and maybe we can get a month's rent back (we had to give our landlord a year's worth of post-dated checks last year).
There are so many people trying to find housing in Ramat Beit Shemesh -- they say about 40% of the 10 planeloads of new olim Nefesh B'Nefesh is bringing this summer are moving here. There's a lot of new housing going up, but it won't be ready for at least a year or two. There are desperate pleas on the RBS email lists for people who need a place to rent or buy. Our landlord won't have any trouble leasing our apartment, even if he raises the rent.
David's been having a lot of pain in his left knee the past few weeks, and hasn't had a chance to see a doctor. He used crutches last night and today to take some of the pressure off -- good thing we brought some with us. Tomorrow night we're supposed to go to a vort in Har Nof (Jerusalem) for our friends' daughter, but David won't be able to go. I'd like to go, but it means staying in Jerusalem all day and evening, and we're moving in 2 weeks! Plus I'd have to take a bus to another bus to get back home tomorrow night. My mind right now is asking, "What would Chaya Sarah do?" and the answer, of course, is - she would go to be b'simcha for her friends. Sigh.