Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Goodbye to the Bangs?

This is me in June 2011 in Israel. I miss this scarf. Will I miss my bangs?

I've spent a long time on this blog talking about hair covering or, more accurately, head covering (kisui rosh), both before, during, and after my first marriage. Some of my most-read posts are on both the religious/halachic and historic origins of hair covering, head covering, and sheitels (wigs)

Through the years, I moved from "yes I'm covering" to "yes I'm covering with scarves and knit hats" to "maybe I'll get a sheitel" to "okay I bought a headband fall" to "I'm uncovering because I'm divorced."

And now? I'm a mere three weeks away from getting hitched (Part Deux: It's Going to Be Amazing), and I've been saying for quite some time now that I'm more than ready to get back to hair covering. A lot of observant women struggle intensely with the concepts of tzniut and kisui rosh, and there are a lot of gray areas that people cling to as they struggle with where they are in their observance.

For me?

Getting rid of my pants was a breeze. You mean I don't have to spend the rest of my life uncomfortably and angrily searching for the pair of perfect jeans? You mean I can purchase skirts that are both sexy and flattering and fit a whole lot easier than pants ever did or will? Yes, please. Fulfilling a mitzvah of walking modestly with HaShem in the process? Yes sir!

As for head covering, everyone has their up days and down days, and even I kvetched when I was covering my head with scarves. Yes, I left my bangs out according to the rule of the tefach (hand's breath allowed showing), but even now I'm struggling with whether to keep them or not. It gets hot in Israel in the summer (sweaty foreheads aren't hot), and I've done bangs before. I'm going to cover, and in Israel scarves in beautiful colors and styles are the norm, making life a lot easier than when I was schlepping a scarf-covered head through the Carolinas. Hats? No. Knit hats? Probably, but the hotter it gets, the chances of me sporting them decrease. The major kvetch I've had in the past about scarves was that I didn't have long hair to create body with my scarves, but there are all sorts of tricks that people use in Israel to create height and body, so expect some changes in the scarf department. So why am I excited to get back to head covering? Life is easier, simpler, more easily changeable when all you need is a tichel in the morning. Am I simplifying the mitzvah? Maybe, but I know the why, it's the how and when that are coming back to me now.

The one thing I'm minorly struggling with is the trip to England over Pesach, where I'll be -- for the first time in a long time -- in a place where scarves are not the norm. The question is, do I cave to cultural pressures or sport my classic Israeli-style scarves?

Now if I could just start the covering now. I grow weary of having to do my hair. I'm looking forward to growing it out, seeing what I can do with it to keep Mr. T happy, and see where the world of Israeli head coverings can take me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sick Day

This, folks, is the petri dish -- Ulpan Etzion. 

There's a trend that people have told me about but that I've been very skeptical of until now. Yes, when Tuvia and I met we were both rocking pretty gnarly colds, but I'm suffering an all-out, full-blown something bad right now. They call it "cholah chadasha" -- it's a play on olah chadasha (new immigrant, with cholah meaning sick).

I blame Ulpan Etzion because it's a petri dish of sickness at the moment with half the ulpan down and out with something or another (teachers included). I thought maybe I would be okay, but with other students around me hacking up their own lungs and not the proper way (into your elbow, people!), I've been afflicted.

Lucky for me, Mr. T is a master care-taker. Yes, he's been plying me with hot water paired with honey and lemon juice, he went out and got me medicine, and he even made homemade Chicken Soup -- aka Jewish penicillin. Yes, I'm breaking my weekday no-meat rule because it's a proven fact that the qualities found in Chicken Soup do have a healing quality. With lots of sleep, lots of healthy nosh and rest, I'm hoping to bounce back in the next few days. I hate being sick, and I'm such a dude when I'm sick. Also? Missing ulpan sucks, and not being able to take two seconds off from work because even the internet is accessible from home so work in my world never stops is kind of lame.

The good news on top of the sick news comes three fold.

  1. My wedding dress is in the country! Yes, it passed through customs and is floating around somewhere in the country. I just need to get it, try it on, get it tailored if need be, and find some shoes and a veil. Oh, and get a haircut. My hair is a little out of control right now. 
  2. Mr. T and I are going to England for Pesach! Holy wowie zowie. We're going to stay a few days after the chag because so much is closed during Chol ha'Moed (the intermediate days) because Easter falls around the same time as Pesach this year, and I've never been to England before. Color me utterly stoked to be able to visit the land of my forefathers (quite literally). 
  3. We were approved by the vaad to live to Neve Daniel! Our lease starts on February 1, and come February 20, we'll be living there as a family. Stay tuned for a video tour once I get it semi-set up. Yes, Mr. T and I will have a home of our own! I'm super stoked. And iBoy will have a space of his own, too. 
There is nothing else in the world that I need or want right now than to get my life started with Mr. T. The only thing I really need is a KitchenAid with a grain grinder for my new kitchen. Why? I am SO eager to get back to baking challah (yeah, I can't eat it, but making it is therapeutic and important to me) and baking yummy things. Also, grinding my own grains is a lot cheaper than buying them pre-ground in this country. 

Now? Back to hot beverages. And resting. And watching television. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hot Drinks on Shabbat: Part Two

In the last post, I spoke about the issues involved with making tea on Shabbat, and in this post I want to talk about coffee -- specifically the French press.

The major concerns about coffee and tea on Shabbat that Mr. T and I considered were borer (separating) and bishul (cooking). The latter is forbidden on Shabbat and the former is allowed only when you're removing the good from the bad, or the desirable from the undesirable. That is, you can pick cashews out of a bowl of mixed nuts, but you can't remove all the mixed nuts to get to the cashews.

Instant coffee is the no-brainer of coffee drinking on Shabbat, because it's already cooked and in Judaism there is a law of "no cooking after cooking" (ein bishul acher bishul), which means that once something is cooked, you're never "recooking" it on Shabbat. Instant coffee is just hot water from the urn in a cup plus instant coffee (for more, see Mishneh Berurah 318:39).

When thinking about the French press, my initial thought was that by pushing the plunger down, you're  removing the bad from the good. Mr. T, in all of his genius, pointed out that you're really just moving it out of the way, like if you push around the peanuts and almonds to find more cashews to pick out of the bowl. Pushing the coffee grounds downward in a French press is completely allowed, and when you're pouring the coffee out of the French press into a cup, you're actually taking the good away from the bad. So borer isn't an issue, is bishul?

Much like instant coffee, regular old coffee grounds used in a French press are roasted, and if you apply "no cooking after cooking," then there also should be no issue, right? There's a concept that is mentioned in the Shulchan Aruch (318:5) that "there is cooking after baking" (yesh bishul achar afiyah), and some consider "roasting" to be baking and not cooking. Even if you want to hold to this more stringent opinion, just make sure you pour the hot water from your urn or hot water pot into the French press before you add the coffee, making the French press a kli sheni (second vessel), and all is right in the world since there is no cooking in a kli sheni (ein bishul bekli sheini).

So I shall enjoy my coffee on Shabbat, my quality coffee on Shabbat, in the giant Bodum French press that Mr. T has even though he doesn't drink coffee. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hot Drinks on Shabbat: Part One

Mr. T and I were on our way to pick up iBoy from school when we got into an in-depth conversation about the use of loose-leaf teas and French presses on Shabbat. (Don't ask me why, but this is our life -- halacha, kashrut, movies, jokes, bliss!)

I'm a big coffee drinker, and Mr. T is a big tea drinker. The main things that can come up with tea and coffee on Shabbat are borer (separating) and bishul (cooking). Let's start with tea, and I want to mention that all of these "rules" are for Shabbat only and are not necessary to observe on holidays where cooking is allowed.

There are varying opinions about tea on Shabbat, and the Star-K takes the most hard line approach to tea on Shabbat, saying,
One should not use tea/herbal bags or loose teas on Shabbos. This is because tea is part of that group of foods known as kaley habishul, or easily cooked foods. These foods are considered so sensitive to heat since they will cook in circumstances that other foods will not.
Why? Because from picking to factory processing, tea isn't cooked, but rather dried and then packaged in tea bags or sold loose-leaf style. Thus, there are problems with bishul because the water that comes out of your standard urn or hot water pot on Shabbat is hot enough to "cook" the tea leaves, which is forbidden on Shabbat. The way that we avoid this problem is by using multiple kelim or vessels to make the tea. Essentially you have your hot water pot (this is your kli rishon or first vessel), a kli sheni (second vessel), and a kli shlishi (third vessel).  

Tea-Making Choreography: The hot water goes from the hot water pot into the kli sheni after which you pour it into the kli shilishi where you put your tea bag. 

Why? The idea here comes from Rav Moshe Feinstein z"l, who ruled that by the time the water goes from your hot water pot (kli rishon) to the cup for your tea (kli shlishi), the water is no longer at a temperature that can cook tea leaves. 

That being said, you also have to worry about borer (separating) once you've steeped your tea bag and your tea has hit the perfect color/flavor. Why? On Shabbat, borer is forbidden, but only when you're removing bad from good. What does this mean? It means that if I have a bowl of mixed nuts and only want the cashews, I am absolutely forbidden from sitting and removing every nut so only cashews are left in the bowl. I can, however, sit and pick out the cashews as much as I want. So when we apply this to tea, removing the tea bag would be removing the bad -- or what we don't want -- from the good, which is the tea we wish to drink. If the tea bag in your cup is annoying you to no end, you can go ahead and remove it, but only with a spoon and you have to make sure not to squeeze the tea bag as you take it out (that also being a Shabbat prohibition). If you're feeling wary about even this, go ahead and pour your tea into another cup, because in this instance you'll be taking the good from the bad and all is well in the world (except for your sink, which will quickly fill with tons of cups). 

For the super paranoid/strict, tea essence seems to be the rule of the road. Mr. T prefers to do tea essence, not because he's super crazy religious, but because it tends to be a bit easier. It took me a long time to really get what "tea essence" was, but if you think of it more as "tea concentrate," you'll be in a good place. 

Essentially, you brew tea very strongly before Shabbat, then use the concentrate/essence on Shabbat mixed with water to dilute it to the strength of a normal cup of tea. (Some people also do this with a French press for coffee, but that will be the next installment.) The problem here is how to keep your essence hot over Shabbat if you want hot tea, which would require you to put it on a blech or hot plate throughout Shabbat without removing it because you can't put liquids on to heat up on Shabbat. Oh the problems!

My advice? Learn the choreography, drink your tea fast so the tea bag doesn't bitter your tea, and do it often enough that it becomes old hat!

Stay tuned for the next installment, which is on the use of the French press on Shabbat!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Life Ch-ch-ch-changes

This is the view from the apartment we didn't take. 

I can't believe how long it's been since I last sat down and wrote a blog. I've gotten really spaced out in my blogging (in more ways than one), and for that I apologize immensely -- to you and to myself. I guess I've just been spending a lot of time trying to figure out life, what with a lost job, ulpan (intensive Hebrew learning) starting, and figuring out the logistics of marriage and starting life anew. 

So I've been applying to dozens of jobs every day, hoping to land something even part-time in the copywriting, editing, social media, SEO, or blogging world without much luck. I still have my part-time gig with Taste Guru back in the U.S., which is going really great (watching the Facebook likes and Twitter followers rise every day is the best treat in the world for me), but it doesn't pay all the bills I need it to, unfortunately. I'm happy that Mr. T has gainful employment and that he supports me in whatever I do (honestly, too), but after being financially arrested during my marriage, I found my way on my own with employment, paying off credit card debt incurred during my divorce and move, and living independently, so not having that comfort now with my lost job with CAJE has my stomach in knots. It's a weird feeling. 

Thus I've started Ulpan Etzion and have finished about a week in the program, although the first few days were lots of ice breakers and administrative things that didn't put us in the classroom. Right now there are roughly four levels below where I am, and several above. Essentially, I'm smack dab in the middle of the more than 200 students in this "class" of Ulpan Etzion. We're the 127th group to go through Israel's oldest ulpan, which is a pretty amazing feeling to be part of such an amazing and historic group of people. I'm in Kitah Bet Echad (כיתה ב-1), but I'm already feeling like I possibly should be one level up because the verb review and grammar are like air -- easy as breathing for me. I also think that being surrounded by people who are also stumbling in their various ways has allowed me to actually start using my Hebrew verbally, which is nice. I find myself talking to Mr. T a lot in Heebrish, but I still struggle when I'm in a store or restaurant. It's like I know they know that I'm Anglo and that chances are good I'm going to say something absolutely silly. 

But the truth is that I'm loving ulpan. I might not be learning much right now, and I might hate the textbook we're probably going to be using (I used the textbook in my first year of Hebrew at the University of Connecticut and actually finished the book, so …), but being in an environment where there are people devoted to learning the language and where most are taking it fairly seriously is a truly unique experience. It doesn't compare AT ALL to my experience at the Middlebury College ulpan, which took me from aleph-bet to where I am now, because there people spoke Hebrew in class, out of class, at the coffee shop, and in the car. It was everywhere, and that's what made it stick. In Israel, Hebrew is everywhere, but so is English. From the first month I was here until now, I use Hebrew a lot less. I'll be honest -- Israel makes it too easy to keep English as your 24/7 language. 

In other news, Mr. T and I are moving! Well, we've shaken on it so far, but we're moving to Neve Daniel so that I can join Har Ha'Bloggerim! We found a nice two bedroom, two bathroom apartment there with a beautiful mirpeset (balcony/patio) that has a small living/dining space that we're happy with. Mr. T has the most amazing outlook on life, and that is that we try something out, see if we like it, and if we don't, we figure something else out. He's easy going, confident, and patient. The funny thing is, I'll be able to get to Ulpan Etzion more quickly from Neve Daniel than from where I live in Jerusalem … and yes, I know I'll now be living "over there" across the green line. Am I worried? No. I've spent plenty of time in the Gush, and it's the most beautiful place on earth, if you must know. In some places, you feel peace, serenity, and you know that HaShem is there. That's how the Gush is for me. 

What else? I'm getting married in less than a month. Wow. Also? I might be going to England for Pesach, which is amazingly awesomely cool because I've never been to only two countries in my lifetime so far -- Israel and the U.S. 

Life is nuts. I feel like I have so many Israel-based reflections to make on the people, the food, the aura, everything, but the moment I think of it, *poof* it's gone. So what do you want to know? Hop over to Ask Chaviva Anything! and fill out the form. Seriously, give me a reason to think!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Unexpected Turn of Events

Listen, it was really bright outside. But hey! Snow! It's our first
snow together as an "us." Talk about a highlightable moment.

Life has this funny way of being completely and utterly and ridiculously unexpected an oftentimes unpredictable. Some of those unexpected mometns are horrifying and scary and some of them are amazing and uplifting.

It's me and the illustrious Laura Ben-David at the engagement
party. Mad props to Mr. Ben-David for the excellent photo.

Last week, Mr. T and I gathered with dozens of friends (who spanned my life in Connecticut, Colorado, and Israel) of ours at Ha'Gov to celebrate our engagement. People just kept coming! There was a lot of laughing, noshing, reminiscing, story-telling, and general joviality. The most unexpected result of the evening for me is something of a PSA for any and all naysayers:

My dearest Melissa, a friend who helped pick me back up a week after my get when I arrived in Colorado, thank you.

The news below impacts my coworkers Sue (left in the picture) and
Melissa (right in the picture). But we're still happy to be together!

Here's another case in point from this week of the unexpected and unpredictable. Many of you will read this and say, "Aha! Things aren't going so smoothly now, are they Chaviva!?" But I urge you to read all of what I write and then 

On Monday night I got fired from a job I have absolutely loved and done nothing but kvell about at every conference and to every Jewish professional I've run into. Yes, the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education has let me go starting January 15, 2013. The moment I found out, the feelings I had weren't so much of panic or devastation but more a sadness that another Jewish agency is losing it's ties to any kind of presence in social spaces. Immediately I put the call out on Twitter and Facebook: "Help find me a job!" The next morning, I had a half-dozen jobs in my inbox sent by dozens of people. I've applied to them all, and I have a very important and hopefully fruitful call on Sunday afternoon. B'ezrat HaShem (with the help of G-d), I might have this full-time loss filled up more quickly than I can possibly imagine. This job loss was unexpected, and I had no clue it was coming. I anticipated at some point the distance with Colorado would become an issue, but the reality was finances -- not distance. Mr. T, the amazing man that he is, has reassured me time and again that we'll survive, and it's amazing how much I feel that. I'm not panicked, I'm not worried, I'm not stressed out. It's a funny feeling to be in the right space and to know that somehow HaShem will provide.

So, with IKEA bookshelves in our possession, a dryer on its way, wedding plans just about finished, life is moving along. The amazing thing about Mr. T and me is that we have something unique going on in that we manage to communicate everything, and even when we disagree, we don't fight. It's funny, and really unexpected, but I didn't know that having an argument didn't require yelling, crying, and hurt feelings. (Yes, we looked up the Merriam-Webster definition of argument just to be sure.) I feel incredibly lucky to have someone so easy-going, hilarious, and positive in my life. May things always be this good, even when they're not.

Onward and upward!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Snowy Israel

It has snowed in Israel! So far, I have yet to experience a non-snowy winter.

I have to give major props to Mr. T for schlepping around in this weather (yes, we went to Ikea). It turns out I'm great at coaching snowy driving and he's great at driving in the snow.

It also turns out that there's an amazing coffee shop nearby and that Israel tends to get more of the hail before the real snow comes (when it does).

Just consider me a happy camper who happens to be snowed in because this country has zero clue how to function in snow, sleet, hail, or ice.

Shemot, Rachav, and Jericho

I'm really disappointed in myself for forgetting one of the most important parshiyot in the narrative that is my life -- Shemot, last week's parshah.

Why is it so significant? Three years ago I completed my Orthodox conversion on January 1, and after I converted friends threw me a bit of a "congratulatory" Shabbat dinner in West Hartford. At that dinner, I gave a d'var Torah on Shemot. Oddly enough, this past week I was in Mitzpeh Yericho for Shabbat with Mr. T and his son staying with some very, very good friends, and only after I got home and pulled up this d'var Torah did I realize how even more appropriate the d'var really was.

It begins like this, addressing the fact that the verb tzade-pey-nun appears in this form only twice in the entire Tanakh.

In this week’s parshah, sh’mot, Moses is born during a dangerous time in which Pharaoh has forgotten Joseph and the Israelites. Moses’ mother, fearing for his life, hides him – specifically, the text says, “and she hid him” or (ותצפנהו) – which has an interesting parallel that I’d like to share with you. 
In the book of Joshua, there is an incident – a very important incident – in which Rachav (Rahab), a harlot living in Jericho, hides Joshua’s spies from certain death. In the incident, in Joshua 2, Rachav is said to hide the spies when the king comes looking for them. Specifically, it says (ותצפנו), or “and she hid the men.”
The d'var goes on to compare the experience of the Infant Moshe to the Infant Israel in Joshua, citing Rachav's direct quotation of Moshe in Deuteronomy 4:39. The d'var goes on to discuss converts, the power of the convert, and why HaShem holds the convert so close.

From Numbers Rabbah 8:2, the midrash says,

“Why does the Holy Blessed One love the righteous (referring to a discussion of converts being loved as the righteous)? Because they have neither inheritance nor family. Priests and Levites have an ancestral house, as it says, “House of Aaron, praise the Lord. House of Levi, praise the Lord” (Psalms 146:19). If someone wants to be a kohen or levite, one cannot because one’s father was not. But if someone wants to be righteous, even a non-Jew can, since that is not dependent on ancestry.”
The midrash continues with a parable about the stag that attaches itself to the king’s flock. Daily, the king instructs his shepherds to take care of the stag, and they ask the king why he cares so much about this one animal:

"The king responded, 'The other animals have no choice; whether they want or not, it is their nature to graze in the field all day and to come in to sleep in the fold. Stags, however, sleep in the wilderness. It is not in their nature to come into places inhabited by man. Is it not to a sign of this one's merit that he has left behind the whole of the wilderness to stay in our courtyard?' In like manner, ought we not to be grateful to the proselyte who has left behind his family and his relatives, his nation and all the other nations of the world, and has chosen to come to us?"
It's a beautiful sentiment. And it's one that so many Jews grow up with -- "love the ger" -- and one that so many people misunderstand or don't know how to properly put into place. It doesn't just mean "be nice," but so much more including "don't embarrass the convert" and "don't blow their cover" and "if you're hozer b'teshuva or ba'alei teshuva understand that the narratives are very different" and "hey converts don't bully other converts." The midrash spends a great deal of time elucidating the merits of converts like Ruth and Rachav, not to mention discussing just how precious they are in the eyes of HaShem.

So I'm a week late on the parshah, but that doesn't mean the message and lesson aren't incredibly valuable and worth a read and consideration.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marriage: Going to the Rabbanut

Will we get the stamp of approval!?

Don't take my word for it, but going to the rabbanut -- which Wikipedia says is recognized by Israeli law as "the supreme halachic and spiritual authority for the Jewish people in Israel" -- to open a tik (file) for marriage wasn't tough.

And I'm a divorced convert.

A lot of people complain about the politics, the rabbanut, the religious domination in this country and how difficult it is to do anything within the confines of halachah like get married, but so far? I'm not feeling oppressed or angry or upset or anything. In fact, going to the rabbanut was less annoying/stressful than going to the DMV in the United States.

Mr. T and I headed to the rabbanut on probably three different occasions, constantly getting the hours wrong. You see, in Israel a lot of the government offices close down in the middle of the day for lunch and then reopen for like ... an hour and a half. We finally managed to get into the office with all of our necessary paperwork -- get (religious divorce decrees for each of us), my conversion paperwork and name change paperwork, and our teudot zehut (Israeli ID cards). I also brought along a bunch of other paperwork because I honestly was anticipating some kind of insane experience of putting me through the wringer.

Silly Chavi, you were paranoid for no reason! They gave you candy for the love of Pete!

The rabbanut offices are under massive construction, so we had to ask around where to go. We ended up at an awkward desk with a man and woman sitting behind it. They got Mr. T's information and had a problem with what he'd brought to show that he was divorced and then proceeded to realize that I was a convert and then we had to go see the Big Cheese down the hallway. We sat down in a large office, the walls lined with pictures of famous rabbis, while the Big Cheese (you don't need to know his name, just know that he was incredibly friendly, sweet, and got us moving) looked over our paperwork. He asked several questions and made some copies, told me that I needed to have two legit Jews email him letters saying that I was, in fact, Jewish and awesomely amazing, and then he sent us back down the hall to wait to get registered.

We sat down at a desk after a few minutes with a nice woman who input our information (names, addresses, wedding date, etc.) into the computer. We paid a fee (which was discounted thanks to me being a new immigrant) and were told to go out to speak to another person.

Person number three looked like a rabbi, so we'll call him the Yiddishe French Rabbi, because he used a lot of interesting yiddish for a man who spoke French so well. At this desk (the wall where a door once was gutted out to a large hallway), we were asked questions about whether we were related, our family, how many siblings we have and whether our parents are still married and where they live, what we want our names to be after the marriage, and a series of repeated questions about our marital statuses and the names of those we've been married to before.

By the time the Yiddishe French Rabbi finished with us, the offices were technically already closed, but if there's one thing that Israel does right, it's that if you're there, everyone who is pertinent to what you're there for has to stick around until you're done and gone.

The next stop was to a woman to make sure I knew I needed to take kallah classes (where you learn about family purity and the laws of niddah and such), which simply required the signing of a form, some stuff being shoved in my hand, and being sent on my merry way back to the Yiddishe French Rabbi, who took the paper I signed and put it in our file, wished us a Mazal Tov, and we were gone!

Zip, done. I think the entire ordeal took about 2.5 hours, which seems like a long time, but with the company I had it was a breeze of a situation. I didn't feel like I was being put out, questioned, or oppressed in any way. The only other step left is that Mr. T and I each have to have two Jewish men go into the rabbanut to verify that we're both single and able to marry. Luckily, I had two early takers and we're good to go.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- like my aliyah process, everything has gone so very smoothly. Between meeting Mr. T and dealing with the rabbanut, I feel like I'm being led through life with a real purpose at last.  With the wedding coming up next month, there's so much to think about. Luckily, most of the thinking involves needing things like bookcases for the apartment and some proper furniture and things and stuff like that. I suppose maybe I should have paid for the lift to bring all of my stuff over, eh? I didn't know I'd be making a home so quickly!

So the next time you worry that Israeli living will be too hard for you, that things will just be too difficult and too much to handle, remember that often what we hear are the horror stories. Those are the easier stories to tell, after all. When things to smoothly, it's not as interesting -- it doesn't make a good headline, right?

Well, that's what I'm here for. To remind you that things can go smoothly.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The 2012 Recap

I love giving gifts to the people I love. And he's a Whovian.

Oh 2012, you were a good year. Despite experiencing some of the hardest and most emotional moments of my life, the highs were also incredibly high. I managed to end 2012 with the most amazing prospects -- marriage, happiness, love, family, possibility.

The biggest events of 2012 for me can be summed up as follows.

Dangerous relationship. 
Started officially at the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education.
Tons of teshuva
Lots of driving all over the place.
Started officially at Taste Guru.
Applied for aliyah
Moved to Israel. 
Met an amazing man.
Got engaged.

And now? Now I'm anticipating a wonderfully unpredictable 2013, full of getting married, starting a few amazing projects here in Israel, and who knows what else. At this point, life can't get worse -- it can only get better. That, my friends, is a certainty.

What was YOUR biggest event of 2012?