Thursday, January 24, 2008

ט"ו בשבת ועוד

So there have been a few minor developments in my life here on the kibbutz recently. As always I'm here to update you.

So life here is generally boring, but every once an awhile something interesting comes along that makes everything seem happier. For instance, a few days ago I figured out how to put my computer into Hebrew. Unfortunately for the first few days I was unable to type in Hebrew because the keyboard is not phonetic to the standard English QWERTY. No matter, for twenty shekels (20 ₪) I purchased a set of glow in the dark stickers with both English and Hebrew keys. Its pretty cool looking and now I have to learn a second keyboard. Switching between the two is fairly easy, I just hold down alt+shift to switch between the two. Quite nice if I do say so myself. I'm still searching for a freeware Hebrew keyboard teaching program, but no such luck yet. Meh, this is still a significant source of joy to me...a testament to how boring Kibbutz life can be sometimes.

This week was ט"ו בשבת (Tu B'shvat.) I'm sure most of you knew this because Phyllis' various blogs have all be discussing both the holiday and a greener lifestyle. Well being in Israel I thought that I would be able to get the upper hand on her by taking pictures of myself planting trees in the Negev and helping to fulfill the dream of David Ben Gurion to establish both Jewish settlements here and making the desert bloom. However, sadly Jewish law has interceeded on my sister's behalf and I was not able to plant a tree here. This year is the seventh year of the cycle of planting and according to Jewish Law, this is the year of rest for the land. No planting of trees, crops or anything else for that matter. No pictures of me helping to fulfill Ben Gurion's dream....that will all have to wait until next year. Unfortunate, but a reality of life.

Another interesting thing about life here on Revivim is the placement of holidays. While ט"ו בשבת was actually on the 22rd of January or Tuesday, the Kibbutz does not celebrate any holidays that may interfere with work. Work here is paramount. So any holiday during the week is shifted to the next Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. Thus we will be having a Tu B'shvat Seder (שדר ט"ו בשבת) on Friday evening after dinner and before the bar opens. It seems strange to me, but it is simply the way of things here. I suppose it says a lot about the priorities of this Kibbutz. Work always comes before anything else...even Jewish holidays.

This weekend I'm staying here on the Kibbutz, for the Tu B'shvat seder. However, next weekend I'll be heading back to Kibbutz Ein Hashofet to visit some old friends from my days of volunteering. After that Mom and Phyllis will be here! I'm so excited to spend a few days in Jerusalem and see some family.

I've uploaded a few new pictures so you should all check them out.

Till next time!


Phyllis Sommer said... *do* read my blogs!!!!! yes, i knew that it was shmittah, which is why i didn't actually tell anyone to plant trees in israel. actually, jnf is selling other things this year like carbon offsets. very smart of them.

i look forward to hearing about the tu bishvat seder!!!!!

Sharon said...

Great to see you posted. Things cannot be that boring. It actually looks like you are having fun.