Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scraped Legs, Chance Encounters, and "I told you NOT to hit the rock!"

Well a lot has happened in the last 48 hours, where to begin…
Oh I know Ramat Beit Shemesh.
So I went to Ramat Beit Shemesh yesterday to pick up the Israeli ATM card. I can now take money out of my account with out having to go to Ramat Beit Shemesh every time I need cash. Nice feeling.
I brought me bike with me, which makes traveling a lot easier and quicker. I went down to Ramat Shilo for a little bit and schmoozed with two of my Rabbi’s, then went up to Beis Tifilla to have a seder.
Now here’s where the twist comes, some point on the way up the hill to the shul, my foot slipped of the pedal of the bike, came around and slashed the back of my leg. I didn’t think much about it, but sometime in the middle of learning it started to sting, so I headed over to the pharmacy to pick up something to clean it.
The pharmacy in Ramat Beit Shemesh is run by (at least in my opinion) this awesome guy named Arthur Jacobs. I got to schmoozing with him (as I’ve been known to do with people) and we somehow got to the topic of Baltimore.
“Ah, do you know Avi?”
It turns out a friend of mine got married to his daughter back in January, and I had never made the correlation (I’m not sure why “Jacobs” is a pretty common name right?) that this was same Jacobs that my friend married.
And on top of it all, my friend and his wife (who are currently living in Tzfat) were in RBS for the day.
So I was given another chance to shmooze, now I’m not feeling that bad over my scraped leg.
Today a friend and I went to En Gedi, I’m attaching a link so you can check the pictures out. The pictures can do better work at explaining things then my words can, but I will include one humorous anecdote.
My friend and I hiked Wadi (Nachal?) Arugot, a hike I’ve been on a few times, about a 3 mile valley that goes along a riverbed that’s dry at times. It ends at what’s know as the “Hidden Waterfall.” You then hike back to where you started (a total of about 6 miles roughly).
As we were leaving the waterfall we decided to take the high trail as neither of us was interested in getting our shoes wet. The “trail” up was basically small overhanging cliffs that you climbed like stairs to the top of the side of a mountain. Some of these steps are a little tall and requires one to push themselves up with their hands.
One who is climbing up these “stairs” of rocks, is not really concentrating on what’s happening on the next ridge, as their more concerned about getting up the ledge they are currently on. Needless to say I pushed myself up and was greeted with a rather large rock about 2 inches from my face and my momentum speedily bringing the two together.
I veered away, missing the rock and yelled “rock” so my friend would know not make the same mistake that I almost did.
Turns out I should have been a little clearer in my communication.
“Rocks? This whole place is full of rocks!”
Boom! Rock collided with flesh. “Ow!”
We had a good laugh back to the entrance of the hike.

For pics of Ramat Beit Shemesh and the Benei Brak fire (see below):
For Ein Gedi Pics:

Now for some more serious news, some of you may have read this in the news. When I got back to the apartment on Wednesday in Givat Shmuel I thought I smelled smoke. I didn’t give it much thought, I figured that someone was having a barbeque. I then checked the news and learned that some sicko had gone into a shul in Benei Brak and lit the Aron (ark) on fire, with all the Sifrei Torah inside.
I went to the window and could see the shul on fire from the window, police are still not sure who the culprit is, but this is seriously a sick act against the frum Jews in Benei Brak. (Yes I am aware that is an opinion)

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