Is it just me or does Hanukkah always seem to go by quickly? If I miss even one night of lighting candles, I turn around and we’re on night #7. Are we really up to #5 tonight? Here’s something exciting: starting tomorrow night, I will be lighting the candles with forty Americans visiting Israel on a Taglit (Birthright) trip. (I recently decided that I prefer to call it by its Hebrew name, Taglit which to me lacks whatever negative connotations and associations that its English name holds. This could be its own blog post but I’ll leave it at that. Anybody have any idea what I’m talking about?)
It’s true-I recently agreed to staff a trip through Israel Outdoors (land operator Tlalim). They needed a madrich at the last minute, a friend in the States recommended me, I had the flexibility and said “why not?” I haven’t climbed Masada or floated in the Dead Sea since (are you ready for this?) the summer of 1995 so the chance to see much of this country with a great tour guide while giving these guys the trip of a lifetime should be amazing. It’s a bit weird if not surprising that I’m going with neither Young Judaea nor the Israel Experience (my most recent employer) but that’s how it ended up. Life is full of surprises, a wise man once said. (He also said no matter how hungry you are, never order Chinese food at an airport. Actually I think I said that.)
While working at summer camp in the States can be a great way to recharge the ol’ battery and both spread and feel the Israel love, it will be interesting to see how it compares to staffing a first-timer Israel trip. Incidentally, the aforementioned ’95 program was when I staffed Young Judaea’s high-school summer trip. Whereas my campers then were 15 and 16, these guys are 22-26 which means it should be more fun and less hell on earth.
Clearly my posting will be minimal if at all (should I risk bringing my laptop with me? 10 days with no internet?) so everybody try to stay out of trouble when I’m gone, k? Enjoy your final days of Hanukkah. Just try to lay off the fried foods, allright?
It was just yesterday I brought up all the fried foods we eat here aside from just latkes and sufganiyot. Apparently they’re loving their oil up in Haifa, as in fried chicken. Israel….fried chicken, who knew? Even if you did know, could you have dreamed that they’d be eating here???
Colonel Sanders, meet M’faked Shlomo. Chag sameach, everybody.