Every morning after davening (and maybe eating) I go through the Bar Ilan campus in order to get to the bus station(s) to take me to other areas of the country.
As it is with many places here, there are security checkpoints at the entrance to the campus.
I’m not sure what they’re looking for (I know they’re looking for terrorists, I meant what signs that a person gives that may make the guard suspicious that they might be a potential terrorist), but I have my days where I get checked and I have my days when I don’t. Usually the days I get checked is because they ask for a student card, and seeing that I am not a student at that campus, the Teudat Zehut just doesn’t cut it.
So one morning I’m heading through the checkpoint like I usually do, and the guard takes a look at my Teudat Zehut.
Then he does a double-take and looks again.
“You arre Tzeitlin?”
“I know you, you can pass.”
OK, that was weird. “How do you know me?”
“You come through herre everryday and I rrecognized yourr name.”
So I found out when his shift is and now I know to make sure that I plan to go to the bus between 8:30am and 12:30pm.
So yesterday (Monday) I took a “Yerushalayim Day” (you know like a mental health day-only spiritual). I first started by taking a bus over to Bayit Vegan to surprise my relatives who live there.
They weren’t home, so I stopped by Angel Bakery and picked up some bourekas (the true reason I made Aliyah-they’re soooo good!). Then went to the Tachana (Bus station) to catch the city bus tour.
This is a genius thing put forth from the good people at Egged. They have a double decker bus, the bottom enclosed and air conditioned and the top with an open roof, as well as inputs for headphones on both levels. The headphone jacks are so you can, um, plug headphones in. They then have located throughout the entire city sensors that, when the bus passes, tells the bus where it is and some audio (in I believe 9 languages of your choice) will tell you some of the history about that particular place.
I think the part I liked the most was actually the open air top side of the bus, it’s not everyday you get to see Jerusalem from 20 feet in the air.
After the tour I headed to the Old City and spent a few hours at the Kotel. When it started to get dark, I headed back to Bayit Vegan, and my relatives were there this time.
I spent about an hour and half updating them on everything, (and yes, it was EVERTHING-my family knows what I’m talking about) and like any good Jewish mother, she gave me a bag of cookies to take with me.
Now those cookies taught me a very important lesson, when someone gives you an open bag of cookies (or in this case, a plastic bag that doesn’t close at the top) either eat the cookies right away or if you’re putting into your backpack, put it in a SMALL bag in the bag, not the BIG bag with all of your stuff in it.
My Gemarah now has crumbs and chocolate on it.
I think some guy in the Bais Midrash thought I was nuts when I started licking my Gemarah. (crazy chutznikim ;)