Posted by: heatherlehrman | September 15, 2011

Living here

I have been here almost two months. Time is FLYING by!! I am almost done with Ulpan. CRAZY!

I really enjoy my Ulpan class minus waking up at 7AM. I have an amazing teacher, Varda. She is an interesting person and a great teacher. Hebrew is a hard language though! Everyday I understand less and less of what she is saying, but I am doing my best to keep up with it.  I will be continuing Hebrew during the semester and hopefully she will be my teacher again.

There area a few things I did not expect coming to Israel.

I thought I would have discovered more about my Jewish identity and my overall identity thus far into my trip. As of now, I haven’t. I’ve decided that it may be because I came to Israel with a strong idea as to who I am as a Jew and as a person. Then again, I have 3.5 more months here. I have had some great religious experiences but none of them have impacted the way I look at Judaism. Another thing I didn’t expect was having so much free time. I have a lot of down time and it has taken me quite some time to adjust to the fact that I am living and studying here, and that I am not just on vacation. It’s okay to have a lazy day here and there and not do anything. It is okay to not be moving around constantly. On the other hand I have been getting antsy so I am looking around for things to do whether it be volunteering or getting involved on campus. Things on campus don’t start until the semester starts which is in October. On the bright side, class ends next week and I leave for my Europe trip next Friday! I will be traveling to Brussels – Belgium, Barcelona – Spain, Rome – Italy and to one of the main lands of Greece called Thessaloniki  for 11 days with two of my friends Ariella and Jena. (Shout out – can I get an AMEN?!) When I come back, my big sista, Ashley comes for two weeks and then my semester starts up towards the end of October. I will be busy and moving around a lot in the next month, which is much needed. I am so pumped for these upcoming adventures!

Some random things I have noticed: I was on the bus a few days ago going towards Shuk HaCarmel and 90% of the people on the bus had tattoos as well as in the Shuk! I’ve never seen so many tattoos and I didn’t expect to see this many in Israel. I over estimated how religious I thought Israeli’s were because most of them are in fact, secular. Another random thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of women here wear a lot of unnecessary makeup.

One of the best discoveries I have had here is the McDonalds ice cream cone. 150 calories for 3.90 sheklim. ($1.08) It is SO yummy. I treat myself to that often. Surprised?

When I went to the shuk that day, I went by myself. I wanted to get out, do my own thing and people-watch, which I did! I walked around, outside the shuk for a while and when I went into the shuk I was inside a store buried in a rack of clothing and I bumped into my friend Aimee. It was so fun to bump into someone I knew in such a busy place. We ended up walking around together. I was so glad to see her because she speaks fluent Hebrew and she bargained like a champion for me for some clothing I was buying. It was great. (Thanks Aimee!!) After we left the shuk, we walked towards the Diezengof mall. This mall is huge! It is a giant spiral (which was confusing because we got lost and couldn’t find the exit we were looking for). We were browsing around and all of the sudden we came across this store, which has a giant mannequin. I’ve never seen such a large mannequin. (Notice picture above) We took pictures with it.

Last Shabbat a bunch of my friends and I walked about 20 minutes in Ramat Aviv to a Rabbi’s house for a Shabbat dinner through the Chabad at TAU (Tel Aviv University). The Rabbis house is basically the Chabad house since they don’t currently have a space to use. There was a tone of food and it was nice to be with good people and Jews on Shabbat. It still amazes me how welcoming the Israelis are to complete strangers.

Tomorrow I am going kayaking in the North of Israel with Dollars for Learning. I am so excited because I have yet to go to the Golan. We are leaving at 6AM. It is about a 4-hour bus ride and when we get there we are going to the Golan Winery, which will be awesome. After that we have lunch and will be kayaking all day and then hanging out during Shabbas on a Moshav! On Saturday we will get a tour of the Moshav we will be staying at. I will take plenty of pictures and will blog about the trip when I get back.

I am so ecstatic to go to Europe- I have never been and I am thrilled to have an eye opening experience and see things I have never seen before. Jena, Ariella and I will be backpacking which will be very interesting and hilarious. We are going to have a lot of laughs.

I cannot wait for my sister to come!!! We will be traveling around Israel a lot, which will be fun. I am excited to explore with her. YAY!

There will be a lot more posts to come in the next month! Get ready!

– H



  1. sooo excited to come!!! love you!!!

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