Saturday, November 01, 2008

Is this an awesome picture or what? Last week we had our first really steady rain of the year. When I left for work the sun was shining and I left the patio door open a few inches for Emma, as usual. AND left my umbrella at home. It started raining sometime mid-morning and was pretty consistent throughout the day. When I left work mid-afternoon it had stopped for awhile and after I descended the thirty or so stairs out my office door and turned to the right to head to the bus stop, I totally stopped in my tracks. There was the most perfectly formed rainbow I had ever seen, stretched from one end of the sky to the other. Even though I know we're not supposed to stare at a rainbow, I couldn't help it; it was so stunningly beautiful.

As I walked to the bus stop, I tried to call David but he didn't answer. Later he called me and said he'd been in a meeting, but his office has lots of windows (not just in the computers) (I know, that wasn't so funny) and he and all his co-workers went out to the atrium to see it. David asked, "But did you see the second rainbow?" I was disappointed that I hadn't; probably I was so intent on the first one that it hadn't occurred to me to look past it.

When we got home that evening David found the picture above that a co-worker had taken from his cell phone and emailed to everyone. Can you believe a cell phone can take such a beautiful picture? Our phones don't have that capability so I've never experienced taking pictures with one. Can you see the seond one above the first? I just tried to look up on Google what rainbows mean in Jewish thought - did you know that Double Rainbow is a brand of ice cream? Or that rainbows are associated with Jewish gays? I sure didn't. I couldn't find anything about double rainbows, but I found this from

The Talmud (Hagigah 16a) states that one who gazes too intently at the rainbow will suffer a diminution of his eyesight. In the Kabbalah, the colors of the rainbow represent the various shades of the Sefirot. The rainbow has thus become in Jewish thought the symbol of both God's glory as manifest in the universe and God's faithfulness to His covenant to mankind and to the people of Israel.

Now let me tell you about the rest of that rainy day.

It was almost the end of the month and we needed to buy our new chofshi chodshi (monthly bus pass) for November. David had given me his ID card that morning, so I went to the bus stop headed for the takanah merkazit. I left work at 3:30 (the earliest I'd gotten off in a week) and by the time I got to the bus stop it was spitting rain. There was an overhang at this particular stop, and about 42 million people (more or less) crowding under it. After about 20 minutes no #11 or # 35 had come by so I jumped on a #56 and got off in Geulah. By then it was POURING. I took a back street and stopped at the first store I found to buy an umbrella; it was probably a record day in umbrella sales for stores that day. All the streets were flooding like crazy but I managed to make it to the #15 bus stop and the bus came just seconds after I got there. I kept thanking Hashem for keeping me surprisingly and mostly dry at this point. With all the streets under construction (they are literally working on almost all the streets of the city right now; mostly for the new rail system) and the driving rain, everything was a mess. It took another half an hour to make it to the bus station and it wasn't very far away from where I got on the bus. As I dashed across the street to get in the security line, I stepped right into the flooding waters and got drenched up to my knees. I couldn't believe I made it to within a few feet of my destination and then got soaked.

Actually I wasn't so worried because I knew I'd get a good seat on the bus back to Kochav Yaakov since I would be getting on at the beginning of the route. Lucky for me the ticket window was practically empty and after I purchased my pessa flora (passion fruit) slushie, the #143 was waiting for me.

That's when the fun started. Well, not fun exactly. More like a lesson in savlanut (patience). I got on the bus at 4:45 PM. Right at 4:50 PM the bus pulled out of its parking spot on the upper level - and then stopped. There were three lanes of buses trying to get out of the one-lane exit. We were literally moving about one inch every few minutes. Every time the buses pulled forward a little bit, the bus drivers jockeyed for position to get to the exit first - three lanes of Israeli drivers merging into one is not a pretty sight.

The nice thing was that there were probably all of ten people on the bus and it happened to be a brand-new, clean one so I was pretty comfy. The bad thing was that I didn't have a book with me and a normally 45 minute ride took two hours and fifteen minutes! All I could think about was those poor people waiting at bus stops with the rain drowning them and no buses coming. The traffic on the streets was almost totally stopped in all directions; it took us an hour and a half to get out of the bus terminal and around the corner on Yirmeyahu to the intersection at Sarai Yisroel, which normally takes about five minutes. Once we got past that point, it only took another half hour or so to get home.

Did I mention that I bought a slushie before getting on the bus? And that it took another two and half hours before I walked (ran, actually) into my house? I think you can guess the implication of that. Suffice it to say that I didn't even notice the little tiny mud prints all over my house and couch and bed until long after I came out of the bathroom...

David is delighted that I'm blogging tonight. He wants me to be sure to write about him. Hmmm. I can't say that. And that would be loshon hora. Oh, yeah! Well, no, it wouldn't be right to talk about that, either. I know! It turns out that David had a SEVERE B12 deficiency. It caused him to be anemic and also low in vitamin D. Now he's giving himself B12 shots three times a week and is on iron tablets and vitamin D drops, and life (for both of us) is so much better now! He's happier, has more energy, has a more positive outlook - it's wonderful. Now if we can just find a vitamin that helps with procrastination...

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