Chanukah, chanukah, chag yafeh kol kach....etc etc etc.
Yes, folks, Chanukah is FINALLY here! In Israel, we apparently hold two weeks of Chanukah, since our first Chanukah party was last Sunday and the anticipation has been increasing each night since. I was a little afraid that the actual holiday wouldn't live up to its hype, but have no fear. The level of excitement has risen exponentially all week, culminating in a frenzy of hyperactivity and lots of SUFGANIOT. First, we had a Chanukah party this morning in ulpan. Everyone involved in ulpan, Misrad HaKlitah, or chief rabbi-ing of Modi'in (ok, that's just one person, but still...) came to the party. They served coffee and sufganiot, and Rav Lau spoke and then lit the menorah and we sang. It was very cute and we enjoyed it very much. Parties! Yay! Then, in the afternoon, Ariella and I went to the mall to get some sufganiot (the mall, as we have seen, is a big source of Judaica for us.) It was like a sufganiya factory! Mega, the supermarket with the bakery that was rated #2 for sufganiot in all the land, was bringing out tray after tray of doughnuts filled with jelly, caramel, chocolate, and just plain doughnut. So we bought a sampling from Mega. Then, Roladin, the fancy-ish bakery, had a whole booth set up outside their store just for doughnut purchases! They had every doughnut type and flavor known to man, so we bought a sampling from there as well. Whoo-hooo! Then we picked up Yaakov, and came home to make our levivot! (Latkes, or potato pancakes, depending on your preference.) Yaakov and Ariella even helped transfer the potatoes from the cutting board to the bowl. To top it all off, Daddy came home early, so we got to light together, sing and dance around the apartment, eat our latkes, have a few pieces of gelt, polish off our sufganiot, then, look! there are fireworks outside, and and ohmigod I can't stand all the excitement! Whoo hooo!!!!!!! Go Chanukah! Go kad shemen! Go Maccabees! Menorahs! Dreidels! Miracles! Light! Oil! SUFGANIOT!!!!!!
So as you can see, Chanukah is pretty exciting here - po, if you get my drift.
In other news, kappayim to Mrs. Steinhart! In ulpan today, we were studying more nivim, and of course I was able to finish the pitgam and explain it. Irit, the teacher, asked, "Gila, how is it that you know all the nivim?" I puffed up with pride and explained all about Mrs. Steinhart and Ivrit and nivim. It turns out Irit had a similar teacher, who went to the Mrs. Steinhart School of Pedagogy and made them memorize nivim and perakim in chumash as well. So we doffed our proverbial hats to our Teachers Who Made Us Memorize Things because aren't we so glad we did it, in the end? (No.) I hope that one of the Loyal Readers who might come across Mrs. Steinhart one day will tell her that Irit from Israel says, "Kappayim l'Leah!" (P.S. I then proceeded to fall from glory because I didn't know the next five nivim. Oh well.) However, during our nivim lesson I was reminded of another funny school story, so walk with me, won't you, as we take a short trip down Memory Lane.
One of the nivim today used the word "yated," which means "stake." Years ago, when we were learning the story of Yael and Sisrah, we learned that word, because Yael, the Good Guy, kills Sisrah, the Bad Guy, by driving a "yated" through the guy's head. (He never even saw it coming, the drunken fool.) At the time, the teacher translated "yated" as "tent-pin." However, what I heard was "ten-pin." I never could figure out how Yael came across a bowling pin, and once she did, how she managed to get its rather dull end through Sisrah's head.
Ok, trip over.
Anyway, Donny has been asking me, ever so casually, when I am going to blog about his Great Gym Epiphany. I think Donny feels a little lack of attention on the blog, despite being Minister of Polling. So I will share his Great Gym Epiphany with you all, because he is sooooo proud of himself. [Throat clearing sounds.]
Donny likes going to the gym. However, he is constrained due to having to spend so much time on the train. There is a gym near-ish the office in Haifa, but without a car, it becomes far-ish. Donny was becoming unhappy with the lack of gym situation, until.....the GREAT GYM EPIPHANY! Donny researched and found out there is a gym right near the train station...in Tel Aviv. So he now takes a train to Tel Aviv, gets out and goes to the gym (which is right in the same building! No need to go through any security!), then gets back on the train and goes to Haifa (and the timing works out perfectly! 6:57 to Tel Aviv, 8:53 to Haifa!) It's UNBELIEVABLE! The Great Gym Epiphany! Foresight and planning the likes of which have not been seen in our days! It's freakishly BRILLIANT!!
(Donny - how was that?)
Happy Chanukah to all my Loyal Readers, and of course, a special Mazel Tov to Australian Leezy on the birth of her son, whom we will call Edgar until he is brought into the covenant. We wish to one day be able to meet Edgar, as well as his siblings Dov "Dahv" and Miriam "Miri" Bensky. We love you Leeze!!!!!!!!!!!