26 May, 2010

31 days and counting

Just over a month and I'll be in Jerusalem...June 28. How is that possible? How is time passing so quickly?
I have the practical stuff nearly done. I don't have a student visa yet, not sure why. And I still need to finish getting the cat taken care of. And next weekend I'll begin the packing process. I have appointments/meals with people I just have to see before I leave. And yet, the time is completely flying by. I feel like I have a million things still to do, but can't enumerate them. The general feeling of being overwhelmed is starting to hit.
I was complaining at work that, well, that I was at work. I made a joke to a girlfriend saying that in six months I'd probably be begging to come to work. She replied telling me that I was going to love every minute of being a student. I tend to believe her. At this point however, it is surreal.
What is it going to be like to studying Jewish texts or Hebrew all day? What will it be like to have a morning minyan, actually with a minyan? For those prayers that I don't know, how quickly will I learn them? Will I be able to lead them competently in a short time frame? But these are just the student nerves which come out. The majority of them are superficial and are essentially place-holders for all the questions without answers.

What will it be like not getting hugs from my 4yr old nephew? Will I be able to find time to schedule to talk to my friends in Colorado; time that isn't the middle of the night for either of us? How will it be not being with my fiance for a few months? Will I make new friends quickly?

I know that I am not unique in asking these questions. I also know that there are lots of other people that I am about to meet in the flesh (as opposed to facebook) who are dealing with similar circumstances. The journey in front of us is exciting and unknown. With unknown comes uncertainty and fear and adrenaline and hyper-activity and a whole host of other heightened emotions. It is glorious and I couldn't be more honored and ready to being this trip. I am sure the next four weeks will just fly by and before anyone realizes it, I'll be calling Jerusalem home. Amazing.

02 May, 2010

It's Official...

I am officially a rabbinical student with HUC. I have been accepted, I have passed my Hebrew test, I am on my way.
So what have I done? I have learned that I am a touch ignorant when it comes to pets. I knew I couldn't use a site like expedia or vayama to buy my ticket because I want to bring my furry friend (Ryno) with me. Fine. It had to be on an airline that took me from Denver to Tel Aviv, with few stops, and the same airline every time. Fine. I had to have loads of paperwork and shots and certificates for him. Fine. Well, it turns out that on Continental met all the requirements; well, I forgot to mention that I am not made of money, so Swiss Air and El Al I cannot afford. I get on the phone with the ticket agent so I can get bulk head seating and make sure there is room for my little buddy (ok, so he's not so little tipping the scales at 16.3pounds). She says I can't fly him inside the plane with passengers to Tel Aviv. I ask why. She says "I think it has to do with that religion or something". I leave it alone, though wanting to say something like, I'm part of that religion and cats are fine and are you really this ignorant? But I don't, I just ask what I can do. She sends me to the cargo people. I talk to this really nice gentleman for about 30min. Ryno is now all set up to go underneath the passengers and sit separated from the luggage in the cargo bay. That's when the news is hurdled at me: $650 for this privilege. My jaw audibly drops. I, silly me, thought this would be free, or minimal cost; I mean I was already paying $1600 for my ticket and he's just a little cat. Can I really put a price on love? After hemming and hawing, I go with my gut and will be taking him, even though his ticket will be way too close to mine.

Roommates have been found too for this amazing apartment. I was willing to sign a lease, sight-unseen. I did eventually get photos before signing the lease, and they far surpassed my expectations. However, sending money to a foreign bank account has proved to be challenging. So much tape to get through. But what has made it even more cumbersome, the time difference and the different days to celebrate G-d. From Friday morning in Colorado until Monday night in Israel, essentially no business can be done. Israel is closed on Friday and Saturday, America is closed on Sunday. Monday morning I can do banking again, which with the 9hr time difference means it is Monday evening in Israel. I am so nervous that the landlord will just say screw it and take the money from someone already in Israel. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that doesn't happen.

What I am really looking forward to though, is school. I can't wait to be in school again. I want to know all about my classes, and my professors, and my classmates. I want to know what I will be learning. I know the majority of my studies will be focused on learning Hebrew, making it my language. Leading services, davening daily with other students, shul hopping in Jerusalem. The potential excitement never ends.

I just received the academic calendar and am planning things for the various breaks I have. More than a week off for Sukkot. Do I hear the north calling or is that the south? Do I go to Egypt and Jordan or maybe Cyprus and Greece? Or do I stay in Israel and find all those nooks and crannies which make the country extra special? So many things to think about.

For now though, I am suffering from a serious case of senioritis at work. I have a little more than 4wks to go; they have been informed that I am leaving. I am finding that I just don't care about the work I am doing. That these deadlines they are setting (which have always been ridiculous) are not worth stressing over. I am ready for the next step; I'm in mid-step as is. I will have to wait 8 weeks more to complete that step.

While I say I am ready, I mean kind of. I am ready to not work. I am checking out of my career. I am far from ready to leave my community, family, friends. And this is where I would prefer to spend my time--with people. I am starting to calendar time in June (when I don't work) with people. Individual conversations that I can't wait for. There are so many songs on the radio these days about saying what needs to be said. I fully agree. Even if it makes me seem sappy or emotional or even a little melancholy/sad. Say what you need to say, because then it is much harder to have regrets.

Rabbinical school here I come. New apartment, new roommates, new everything. Yippie!!!!