I woke up Wednesday morning with a new bounce in my step. Today was the day I was going to make things happen, I had people I wanted to meet, a networking party to attend and I wasnâ€™t about to let my tired old self back out of the closet. This was made possible by skipping the optional Tuesday night in Tel Aviv and open mic organized by some random ROIers. I went to sleep at 6pm, woke up at 10pm, watched the very emotional movie Hairspray and fell asleep with a pounding head and chills fearing the worst.
I was over the extravagant breakfast and settled for an omelet with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes, some peeled orange and grapefruit slices and a cup of coffee with one sugar packet, I was really looking forward to going back to real Israeli food. At breakfast I sat with Alen Meyer who runs an organization in Chile, called Sttam, It works kind of like a Hillel, but he told me that Hillel failed in Chile, and Sttam also helps its members with finding work. I did learn that Chile has 14,000 Jews and the world’s second largest Palestinian population outside of Israel with 400,000 Palestinians.
After breakfast we did what I would call a Hippie-Bulls**t exercise which was supposed to get us to focus. I wasnâ€™t tired, but the exercise in which we were supposed to focus on an object, then close our eyes and do a bunch of concentrating stuff brought out the Cynic in me, I looked over at my friend Hindy Poupko who is the executive president of the Council for Young Jewish Presidents, in New York and we both rolled our eyes. All I could imagine were a bunch of people who wondered why they were dragged away from breakfast for this. Then of course people had to explain their â€œfeelings.” What now, group therapy?
After that exercise we did another thing which I would consider a waste of time, text study. All Jewish events have to do this in order to pinch themselves and make sure they are still Jewish. There was no talk of God until this moment, which is funny, because Judaism is God-centric, or should be, but unfortunately God is too abstract for many people to throw in the mix of their already idealistic world views. In the mix of this â€œtext studyâ€ was a piece written by Bob Dylan in 1951 when he was 15 years old and playing cover songs with his band. This famous wrestler walked past Dylan and didnâ€™t say anything, but Dylan thought his look said – â€œyou are doing it and keeping it aliveâ€ – which I understand very well, but what on earth this has to do with biblical text is beyond me.