Yom Rishon, 9 Cheshvan 5768/21 October 2007, Sunday
There is a "Dumpster Minyan" here. I kid you not. A bunch of guys meet up the street, near a couple of dumpsters, at 9 PM every night for ma'ariv. My guys are regulars. They assure me that there are no odor issues. I find men difficult to understand sometimes.
Motzei Shabbat, there was a concert in memory of Shlomo Carlebach, put on by the shul known as "the happy minyan." Chaim Dovid and Yehuda Katz were there. Ruby Harris (violin, of the Diaspora Yeshiva Band) showed up. It was really impressive. I had the feeling, by all the shmoozing, that the locals were a bit unaware of the musical and spiritual power in their midst. It was a quite nice little concert. We'll hear them again, with more "names" in the Jewish music business, next week. Such is life, when one lives in the same town as the musicians...
The paperwork is going surprisingly well. We lost a day, because you can't do the Misrad Hapnim thing in Maale Adumim. You have to go to Yerushalayim. The next day, we got up early... and Hashem was very kind to us. Between the hours of 8:30 AM and 12:30 PM, we got our teudat zehut (a very big deal), our bank, and our kupat cholim. We were told never to try to get more than one thing done in a day. So Hashem gave us a break. Anat, our very Israeli Misrad Hapnim representative, was totally scary, and then totally sweet. The Sabra thing, I guess. Prickly on the outside, and sweet on the inside. We were the happy freiers. I will wait and see whether or not my theory is correct. Yes, most people learn that you don't want to be a freier in Israel. (Treppenwitz' story about dealing with this issue is an award winner. For a great read, check out the following: http://bogieworks.blogs.com/treppenwitz/2007/10/waste-my-time-s.html
If you don't hear the glory theme from "Rocky" playing in the background, you need to read the article without multi-tasking. ) Nonetheless, I will continue to do what I know how to do; and I will only stop treating people sweetly when it absolutely fails for me. Daven for my success.
Today we were reminded that a mall is still a mall, even if it's in Jerusalem. None of the Eastmans was built for this kind of shopping experience.