Saturday, October 25, 2008


Sadly, basketball didn't work out again today. There were just three of us, was probably older than my dad. For those Tuesday Night basketball readers think Larry but without the knowledge. Anyway, we played that I'm guessing was supposed to be 21, but at some point got lost in translation. basically each guy got 5 free throws, if he missed the other two played for a shot but the shooter doesn't play defense. It was pretty dumb. I'm glad I got to the court 15 minutes before the other two so I could at least shoot around.

Then came the Soccer game, I scored my first goal, and somehow I was able to act like I've been there before. No excessive celebrations or anything. I actually thought I was a nice play. I stole the ball in my own zone and broke away on net, it should be noted that the old guy in net - but I would've scored on anyone:) anyway I ran straight at the goal looking left I show right and beat the goalie cleanly. I scored again, but that was more lucky, and thanks to the old guy. I just shot the ball on net and he missed it.

Anyway, now the recruiting for basketball players, and possibly a change of venue so there isn't a soccer game to compete with, is on my shoulders. I was told to ensure that the Americans. all 4 of us, come and play next. Wish me luck

Sunday, October 19, 2008


The last time I went to Ikea was in the New Jersey, before Nat and I got married and I was pretty that when bad people die they have to spend eternity at an Ikea, of course, I felt like I had just spent an eternity there.

So I was not that excited when Nat really wanted to go to Ikea in Netanya, but I'm a team player so I went. We had heard there was a kosher restaurant there, but I assumed that there was no sukkah. I was pleasantly surprised when we saw a big sukkah right in front of the store.

A few minutes after we got to the top level someone came and asked me if I davened mincha yet, I hadn't so I went to the Ikea shul, it may have been nicer that my shul in Ariel. There were two cabinets of sefarim, probably for the guys who are dragged to the store, but manage to sit and and learn.

I saw a sign in the shul that said there are 4 kosher mehadrim (the best kind of kosher) and the strictest laws of Shmitta. I was excited, I can take a break from all the shopping and eat.

The food was good, we had chicken and fries in the sukkah.

Then we went back to the shopping. The second part of the shopping wasn't enjoyable for me, it was the second level looking through the bins. But all in all, it was a nicer experience than my first Ikea trip

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Basketball take 2

I was right, I had to leave Ariel in order to get in a good basketball game. I just didn't think I had to go all the way up to Ma'alot.

The game was still mostly Israelis, with the exception of my brother and me. We played 3 on 3 and it was pretty similar to my old Tuesday night game. We played 3 on 3, on a court that was similar to an ice skating ring. I didn't know that I was playing ball when I came up, so I didn't bring the right shoes. But I survived, I was just happy to play.

I woudl say the level of play was pretty similar to Tuesday Night Ball, so that was good. It was tough not understanding 90 percent of what was being said. But by the end of the game, I was able to communicate with my teammates, I guess basketball transcends language :0

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The basketball game that turned to a soccer game

I finally played basketball tonight, two-on-two, everything they say about Israeli basketbakll is true. It was nearly impossible to get to the basket because of the grabbing and pushing. It was great to at least play. We played for half hour or so and then things got strange. The court we play is also used as a soccer court, it has nets built in under the hoops.

A bunch of other people showed up and wanted to play soccer, the other three guys, 2 israelis and an American, asked if I wanted to play soccer. I didn't want to be the reason we didn't play so I said sure.

There were 14 people and we played 5 on 5 - first to score two goals wins. My first game I kicked the ball one time, and it slammed off the other guys leg. He winced in pain, and my team congradulated me on the shot and told me that if I keep that up we will have a shot at winning :)

Sadly, that was my shot of teh game, we lost 2-0.

While waiting for my next game I was asked, by the American, if I ever played soccer. The last time I played I think was in 4th or 5th grade. I told our gym teacher that we shouldn't play soccer because it was Eurapean game and we should play American games. That was the last time I played.

Anyway, game two, we lost 2-0 in about 10 seconds.

I learned some important words, like defense and offense and what not.

Game 3, I played in goal. I didn't want to, but I was voted in.
The last time I played goal of any sort was in a roller hockey tournaemnt, I forget how old I was, but I assume I was 13 or 14, anyway I played goal because I hurt my knee and couldn't skate. I had all the equipment, except a cup. And wouldn't you know I took a wrister right in the groin. Since then I've kinda tried to avoid contact with the puck and now a soccer ball. Needless to say I wasn't thrilled to play goal, but I did anyway.

I gave a up a goal pretty quickly, I was out of position and gave up a rebound for a quick goal.
I was pretty solid for teh next few minutes, came out on a guy on a breakaway and stopped him, blocked a few shots. Then came the killer, I weak roller from a bad angle, I felt like Bill Buckner, I went down and cmae up without the ball. It went right between my legs. We lost 2-1

I played one last uneventful game and that was all she wrote,

I have to say I am amazed by the other players, how they can keep the ball on the foot and move is amazing, never seen anything like it. Of course, I don't claim to have ever seen anyone play soccer before, so it's all new me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The grass is always greener

In theory Yom Kippur was really nice, as far as yom kippur goes, we started at 8:00 and finished Mussaf a little before 1:30. Mincha started at 3:20 and we were done by 6:05.

But most of the time I was missing my old shul in Detroit. I know, if I was in Detroit, I would be annoyed at how long shul lasted, there was too much singing and who knows what else. In reality, whenever I'm in shul here I long for my shul, where i had my seat, I had my friends and I was comfortable.

I haven't quite hit that level of comfort here, I don't have a seat, i kinda bounce around from seat to seat. Shul here just isn't the same,

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Breakfast of champions

A Malawah, I think, is a puff pastry, blintz-like food, and one fries it in oil. I usually put chocolate spread on it. Someone suggested having peanut butter, making it like a reese peanut butter cup. It was great. Not sure why this isn't a popular treat in the states.

rolled up
Enjoying the delicacy

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ulpan dilemma

Nat and I started Ulpan tonight, so much fun. but here's the issue.
It's from 5:30 -8:45 Sunday Monday Wednesday and Thursday. This makes it pretty impossible for both Nat and me to go to Ulpan, it would cost us a lot in babysitting fees, and we would probably miss our kids. Avi, our Ariel guru, wants to set up a chug from 5:30 -7:00 for the kids and then one of us would stay the whole time and one of us would go home with the kids. I have a feeling this won't really work to well.
Another thought we had was rotating days and we take nots and share with the other ion their off day.
Personally, I was never a big fan of sitting in a class room and 5-7 months of this will be tough for me to handle, plus when I get a job, it will probably be difficult/impossible to make it to ulpan.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

some firsts

- I went to the early Minyan on Rosh Hashana - started at 6:30 and finished at 9:50
- Jonah introduced himself to someone as Yonah
- I sent a text message in hebrew
- I took the bus from Jerusalem to Ariel - a little over an hour and a half
- I knowingly allowed tomatoes on my shwarma