Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sad day today . . .

I don't really know nearly enough about Israel, politics, strategy or anything of that ilk to comment on whether or not the prisoner exchange this morning was strategic, moral, a good idea, or anything. Other than the fact that the way that the members of Hizbullah reacted to the release of Samir Kuntar makes me ill, and I don't understand how it can possibly not prove 100% to the rest of the world how little people like that value human life. And that for what it's worth, at least the families of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser can give their sons/brothers/husbands/nephews/uncles an halachic burial.

Ironically, my family was in Israel two years ago when the war began, and we are here yet again as one aspect of the war in Lebanon comes full circle . . . or as much closure as the prisoner exchange can bring, anyway.

This video was circulated two summers ago, as the war in Lebanon was going on. No other commentary necessary.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Random things that I've seen or thought on this trip

1. I wonder how many of those young married girls pushing strollers are people that I actually know, but don't recognize because their "hair" looks different.

2. How does anyone afford to live here? *I* think the prices are expensive, and at least the dollar is [a little] better than the shekel. How do the people who only have shekalim do it?

3. Diagonally across from me on the bus yesterday was a woman who, inexplicably, unfolded a napkin and placed it on her head, holding it in place with sunglasses, for the duration of the bus ride to Tel Aviv.

4. I have only seen two women wearing those "super tznius" ponchos over their clothes. Granted, our apartment isn't exactly in Me'ah She'arim.

5. Wow. There are a LOT of pregnant women in Yerushalayim. Secular, observant, unidentifiable - lots of 'em.

6. Israeli religious girls who want to dress in a slutty way are almost better than American girls at achieving the look.

7. If I was Israeli, what would my hashkafah be?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The great tights debate

I am a legs-coverer. That is, I never wear my skin bare below the knee - I always cover with knee socks, tights, a long skirt, etc. This means a few things: 1. I never wear sandals. 2. I am ALWAYS hot in the summer. Always. It's not so bad to wear a long skirt with knee socks, but short skirts always equal tights, and tights are deadly. Who encases themselves in nylon that prevents air flow, anyway?

Now, I know that I don't technically *have* to cover the skin below the knee. But that is how I grew up, that was the custom at the schools I attended, and for me to deviate from that would be just weird. I'm not used to it, and it would be odd for me to dress in a way that is totally different than how I have been dressing for the past fifteen-odd years.

Also, I feel that it's important to dress at a certain standard of tznius. This especially rings true for me while I'm here in Yerushalayim. I'm in a holy place, and I think it's not unreasonable to go slightly above and beyond the bare minimum of what is required. The only thing is . . . it is RIDICULOUSLY hot here. I mean, seriously. I walked to the Kotel with my mother this morning from our apartment (it's about a 45 minute walk each way) and we returned before 9:30 in the morning. And even by then, the sun was out in full force, reflecting off the pale Jerusalem stone. Wearing tights was a noble idea, but so uncomfortable.

I don't want to give up that standard for myself, but I also want to be able to walk during the day without an extra layer on and and to wear short skirts now and then (plus, a long skirt is incredibly hot - it's like wearing a blanket, even though it is cooler than wearing a short skirt with tights). On the other hand, I'm in Yerushalayim . . . I don't want to give in while I'm here, especially. But I'm so uncomfortable, and I don't want to spend the entire time inside because it's too hot to be outside in tights.