So its been a few days and I'll update you all on the happenings in my life here in Eretz Yisroel.
This past weekend Ofri and I decided to take a little trip to the Golan Heights for some camping and hiking. To say it was fun would be an understatement. We camped, we ate, we drank beer at the Golan Brewery, and we hiked a gorgeous trail. The pictures say what my words cannot. We held close to the maxim of camping in the States: "Pack in, Pack out. Take only pictures, leave only footprints." Overall it was a great way to spend a weekend.
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah and it has made me realize a few things about this Kibbutz. First, while they claim to be 100% secular, they still celebrate Jewish holidays. Their level of observance is not what anyone would call high, but there is acknowledgment of all the major holidays. (Hannukah being the most recent I have observed.) The dining hall has a Giant Hanukiah and I'm told we will be lighting a candle every night.
Tomorrow night is the second night of Channukah and thus my Hebrew birthday! I'm kind of excited to spend my first holiday here in Israel. Hopefully this weekend I will go to Jerusalem to see some of the HUC kids and maybe the Klein-Katzes.
On a more personal note...I arrived at a few decisions regarding my life recently. I've decided to keep a kosher style diet from now on. I'm wholly unconcerned as to whether a rabbi tells me that meat is or isn't kosher. However, I'll attempt to buy only kosher cuts of meat and stay away from those animals that cannot be kosher. I'm also no longer mixing milk and meat. While I'll probably miss cheeseburgers, making each moment Jewish seems more important. To continue with that theme...I've also decided to again wear a Yarmulke all the time. I'm sure this will make Dad happy as he sent me off with a large number of them. I'm convinced that these personal decisions will be good for me in the long run.
Hope you all have a wonderful Hannukah!