Monday, November 16, 2009

A Reunion, A Book, and other Miscellany

Once again, many things to write about...

1.) Last night, Sunday, November 15th, I joined a number of others living in Israel for a Class of '76 reunion held right here in Maale Adumim. Well, to be a bit more specific, it was a reunion for Class of '76 for the Ida Crown Jewish Academy. And to be even MORE specific, I didn't even GO to ICJA! But, since Andy DID go there and I DID graduate in '76, and I WAS invited, after all, I decided to go...and I am so glad I did. I saw friends that I have not seen in (some cases) over 34 years. But, in addition to those who had gathered here, we were also joined long-distance, by the miracle of technology, by a large group sitting in a hotel hall in Chicago with a video hook-up. It was so nice to see people from both sides of the ocean get together like that! (When a few people noted that they do not recall me having been in the class at the Academy, I told them that I was undercover and that they just didn't realize I was there!)

2.) Over the years, I have found less and less time to read. Most of my time doing that form of activity was spent either learning for personal growth or learning to prepare classes. But to read a BOOK was a very rare thing for me for years. However, I had one book in my collection that I was determined to read, albeit a book in Ivrit. I pulled it down off the shelf the other day and am already half-way through what has become my absolute, number one, all time favorite book that I have ever read. Now that is a pretty bold statement, especially considering I am only half-way through. So, let me back up and tell you what it is and why I love this book. I am reading the autobiography of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel. The title is אל תשלח ידך אל הנער which has won the Israel Prize. Rav Lau shlit"a, was the youngest survivor of Buchenwald. While there are many books written about experiences in the camps, this one is incredible! He weaves his story of the past with anecdotes over the past few years and how many of his experiences crossed into his professional life. How, for example a woman called him and begged him to perform the wedding of his daughter. When Rav Lau said he had another wedding that same day to do, she pleaded with him. Before he relented, he had to ask why it was so critical that HE be the one to do this wedding. She told him that this information would only be revealed to him after the make an incredible story turns out that it was in this woman's arms that Rav Lau's mother died in a concentration camp. How he describes this moment can not be put into words. If your Ivrit is not at the point you can read this book yet, I urge you to pull out a dictionary and read it... you will not regret it!

3.) I had a VERY high cell phone bill and had no idea what made it so high. Then I checked the says that about 20 calls were made on one of my daughter's phones from Jordan. Now, I consider myself a pretty responsible parent and would think that IF indeed my daughter HAD gone to Jordan I would have known. I called Cellcom, and they explained to me that her location at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu evidentally placed her within range of the Jordanian cell towers and it was pinging off their towers. While they assured me I will be credited, that is not the point of my story...the guy taking care of me on the phone asked me if he could call me back later to review the charges and the credits as he first had to review it with his supervisor. Without blinking or thinking, I told him that it was no problem for him to call me later as I needed to run out and daven Mincha! His reply was to daven well and that he would call me later...I love this country!