26 February 2006

118 in an 80

...but the cop was nice enough to only ticket me for 113 in an 80 (that's kilometers per hour, not miles.)

Rolled all around this holy land the past few days.
First, down from Jerusalem through the desert to views of the dead sea, left at Jericho and up the Jordan Valley (hitting top speeds above what I was ticketed for, to be sure.) Got turned around in Tiberias, ended up westing, then northing up to Meron. Picked up a couple bearded hitchhikers on the way up. Prayed at the grave of R. Shimon Bar Yohai, stopped at the dried fruit store, and dipped across the valley for Shabbos in
Tzfat -
which is a
for the

Caught up with my two hitchhikers on the way back home. I've got a bug in my head that I want to see the stars, so we take the longer route back home through the desert. Elisha's in front and Shneur's in back. Somewhere around Beit Sha'an, Elisha and I figure out that we were in Mehzbehz and Uman together (note the mention of Israeli Hippy Chassidim.)

Opposite Jericho, we turn off and drive into the wild, looking for stars, but there's still too much light pollution, and all I get is a

which is well worth the price of admission.

Miles Davis rolls us back up to Jerusalem, and here I am standing and typing, not yet unpacked, looking forward to a rest...

21 February 2006

Wondering about in Wanderment

Being in quite a funky frame, as is evinced by the previous post, and possessed with a chunk of free time, I took a trip out to the forest.

Thank God.

The hills are on fire with wildflowers - Fields of pink rakafot, red kolaniot, purple tormusim and wild mustard, along with daffy-dills and dandy-lions. I walked and climbed and got-caught-in-prickers. I said hello to great-grandfather olive trees and oaks that drop acorns that look like little hassidim in their streimels. I had a chance to dance around and talk to God and punch at the air and air out my thoughts and feelings and meditate a touch on how every little thing is from God.

I walked in with trouble and walked out with song.

Thank God.

Thank God.

20 February 2006

Dating Sucks

I'm full-on-sick of being alone and full-on-sick of dating.

It sucks.

I want to be done with it.

I'm reading in Tanya that everything is for the good - that the things that SUCK are actually a higher level of good, so good that they're hidden away from us and all we get is this sense of something BUGGIN' us.

I can see how my years (and years) of dating have carved out the person I am, but it's been a carving and it hurts and I want to be through it already. I know it's for the good, but right now my world is small enough that I just feel like it SUCKS.

That's that.


13 February 2006

The Joy of Light

I made a call to Jew-D to apologize to her that I neglected to pick up laundry detergent for her when I was in the States. (Most of us immigrants are in some way tied back to the countries we came from - laundry detergent, Lactaid pills, Dockers, wool socks...) I gave her the whole rigmarole of how I managed to miss the ball on this one. Turns out she got laundry detergent yesterday anyway, and then she mentions to me (it's Tu B'Shvat) that Meir Abehsera is speaking in the old city.
"Who's Meir Abehsera?"
Shock on the other side of the phone. "You don't know who Meir Abehsera is? Have you lived!?"
So how can I not go? I wash my dishes and put on some presentable clothes and walk through the Jerusalem night to the old city...and Meir Abehsera.

Let me tell you...oh, if only I could tell you.

There's a story about the Karliner Rebbe, where he turns over heaven and earth to stand in front of one old man who saw the Ba'al Shem Tov, who could tell him a story about the Ba'al Shem Tov.

Meir Abehsera, oh!

Meir Abehsera was the Rebbe's Badhan, the Rebbe's jester, his comic, his whistler. He's simple. He's crazy. He gives over the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He doesn't give over his Torah. He gives over the Rebbe. He sets the room on fire and calls out each soul, and lights us all up with love and holy madness and longing and...oh!

I caught a glimpse of the Rebbe tonight. A glimpse like I have never seen.

How can I keep from smiling?

08 February 2006

Passing Through and Falling Over

Back from a 10 or 11 day trip: Jerusalem -> New York/NJ -> Long Island -> Sharon -> Boston -> Connecticut -> Zoetermeer, Holland -> Amsterdam -> Jerusalem. The last 7 days, I've slept in seven different places. I'm standing at my computer now, fit to fall over.

When I get really tired, I have a desire to curl up on an imaginary shelf that sits somewhere around my right shoulder - just to climb up and curl up there.

The trip was for business, at least on the surface. The most interesting parts are what happened around the edges of business, of course. Met up with a whole holy host of old friends, and got to chase a woman who came to Israel to tempt me, and heard some fine, fine, jazz. The weekend was a road trip with MCAryeh, who has already posted an account of the experience. The one part he left out is what a joy it was for me to spend time with him.

I passed through Amsterdam last night, on the way home. I was already running on reserves, so I kept my adventures to a plate of wine-roasted lamb and a walk through the evening streets, so somehow poised and beautiful, amidst even the anarchy for which they are famous.

Now I've returned - to a different sort of busy-ness...

5L and his holy wife fed me dinner even before I unpacked, and now I'm well fed and falling over...signing off...

01 February 2006

The Night Frenetic

New York City blots out the stars with massive banks of gaseous glowing lights.
It puts people on stages and stages and stages and calls them stars.
In the morning it spits out a full bus every 5 seconds from Port Authority.
Every moment of the day the streets are teaming with life.
There are thousands of thousands of people in this massive city,
and the whole thing is but a dust mote on the edge of the galaxy,
a tiny spec in the brain-numbing vastness of the universe.

Everything before the Infinite is as naught.

Moments of beauty here stand out in sharp relief -
An understated and dignified building,
A sleeping child's hand hanging outside the stroller,
Patterns of light and smoke against the night sky,
The first touch of the sun, in winter, on stone.