Days 99-101: Come Light the Menorah

Hanukkah started and fun ensued! Jelly doughnuts were consumed and candles were lit! Obviously, a great way to start the holiday. 

Day 99: Monday, 12/15/2014

Back at work after the trip to Jerusalem. Not much news to report, but do keep checking out all of our sites, because I’m posting everything!

Okay, once again another shameless plug. Moving on! After work, I relaxed for a bit before grabbing dinner with a few people. Myriam and I have made it a weekly tradition to get together, with a few people added each time, it seems. Last week was the beach with Daniel and Aaron; the week before that was drinks (with Daniel joining in later). What was in store for week 3? A kosher Italian restaurant called “Uno,” with Daniel, Aaron, Natalie, and another guy named Daniel (who is on a different Destination Israel program).

L to R: Myriam, me, new Daniel, Aaron, and Daniel. Natalie had to go catch her bus, so she missed the group photo
L to R: Myriam, me, new Daniel, Aaron, and Daniel. Natalie had to go catch her bus, so she missed the group photo

The food was pretty good, although a bit pricey. Someone couldn’t help but complain about that fact multiple times… I am not the someone; they know who they are… But I had a really lovely time with everyone, not surprisingly.

We walked to get a little dessert after, and then I ended up walking home. Definitely walked a couple miles. Yay exercise. Also walking kept me warm on that chilly night. I came home and all of my roommates were in bed, something super surprising. I headed to sleep shortly after.

Day 100: 12/16/2014

I had to take a step back and realize that I have been in Israel for 100 days. 100 days! I can’t believe it! I also can’t believe how diligently I’ve been keeping up with this blog. I hope you are enjoying it 🙂

I also find it fitting that day 100 is the first night of Hanukkah! After work, we had an “enrichment” with the group. I add quotation marks because I have yet to attend one that has truly enriched my life… Anyway, this one was centered around Hanukkah, naturally. First, our coordinator picked someone to light the candles and say the blessing. It was not good. He only read the words out loud, not singing, AND he mispronounced the words! He almost forgot the Shechehiyanu (blessing for doing something for the first time), until Natalie and I shouted at him to do it. Our coordinator started to question our knowledge, until he found it online. Come on, dude. Don’t question the Cantor’s daughter/Religious Studies minor/Jewish day school attendee on her knowledge of Judaism. You will always be wrong.

Our coordinator then told us a very confusing version of the Hanukkah story. His grasp on the English language is really not very strong. Many of us agreed that we became even more unsure of the story after hearing him talk. Two thumbs down.

The next part of the activity was to act out parts of the Hanukkah story. My group was Natalie, Erin, and Amy. Erin wrote a really impressive rap, and the rest of us acted it out. Fortunately (for me, maybe not for you), there is no video or photo of this. Hallelujah. We had thought that ours would have had the least amount of effort put into it, compared to everyone else, but we were horribly mistaken. Two groups did some improv, one group sang “I Have a Little Dreidel,” and the last one just pretended to be a Hanukkiah. But what did they think would appease all of us? Free sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts).
tumblr_inline_ngq64eERcg1qzafdrAfter, our quad (that’s what Natalie, Erin, Amy, and I call ourselves) headed out for a quick dinner where we were given even more free sufganiyot! These ones were the real, yummy kind and not the crappy, grocery store kind that were at the event. They were delicious!

Natalie then came back to my house and we lit candles PROPERLY with my roommate Morgan! I bought a Hanukkiah at the Machane Yehuda Shuk in Jerusalem, so I was really excited to light the candles myself! I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I’m actually pretty scared of lighting Hanukkah candles, due to some childhood drama of burning myself on the wax. But I conquered my fear and lit the candles! Go me, improving my life one candle at a time.

All in all, a very successful first night of Hanukkah!

Day 101: Wednesday, 12/17/14

Hanukkah, night #2! I lit candles with my roommates, made myself some dinner at home, and then headed over to Natalie’s new apartment for movie night! We lit candles again (well, only again for me) and she gave me a tour of her place. It was a lot of fun.

Natalie and I watched “Love, Actually” and melted at all of the cutesy, heartwarming moments. There was popcorn, too. Yay girls night! I went home and fell asleep pretty soon after.

I definitely had a great first 2 nights of Hanukkah here in Israel, and I’m looking forward to keeping you updated on what is yet to come!

-Girl in Israel 🙂

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