Judaism, Yiddishkeit, Sign Language
This is not the blog story I expected to write. I came to Jerusalem to study Judaism, Yiddishkeit, Chassidus. Also to build interpreting skills in Jewish settings and maybe even learn some Israeli Sign Language. I am passionate about these subjects and I have waited a long time for this dream experience.
All is unfolding and on December 6th, the Torah learning will begin!
In the meantime, I had a big surprise. Tonight I took a Krav Maga class.
Krav Maga is a form of self defense that focuses on practical survival for people of any age, strength, size or gender. It was amazing.
Full disclosure, I also take Krav in the U.S. and it’s amazing there too. The thing is, I’m always nervous. Holding a pad while people punch and kick it … well… I still have a lot of suburban girl in me. I feel like… what the heck am I doing here?
Kind of like Judaism… how the heck did a rock n rolling Madonna wannabe end up observing Shabbat, kashering her home, and wearing modest clothes?!
Well here I am, none of this in the original life plan.
Shabbat, Thanksgiving, Krav & Chasidim?
Friday night, while at a delightful “Israeli Thanksgiving Shabbat“, we ate turkey, shared gratitude lists, and sang Hebrew songs. A Hasidic looking guy, one of the guests, turned out to be a Krav Maga instructor. I don’t know how it came up but wouldn’t you know, he teaches… and right down the street from my cousin’s home where I am temporarily staying, a five minute walk.
Two nights later there I was, nervous as all get out, in the basement of the instructor’s home learning Krav Maga. It was absolutely fabulous. A wonderful kind woman who is highly skilled (and bad a–!), offered to partner with me and basically gave me a fantastic private lesson.
What was so fabulous?
I’m not sure I can adequately answer. I think it was the serendipity … Hashem’s signature in our lives. I would have LOVED to take classes in Israel, the home of Krav Maga, but I didn’t see any way past my very full plate. My wish-list dance card was filled with meaningful Torah study, learning about interpreting in religious settings, seeing my son, long lost cousins, and meeting friends old and new. Not to mention learning a little Hebrew here and there, living in a foreign country for several months… and for the first time.
Then Hashem gave me this beautiful Chanukah gift. Space, time and Krav Maga came together into a perfect little package!
Boy am I glad for life’s surprises.
Happy Chanukah! May your holidays be filled with your heart’s desires and even some unexpected gifts. As one of my beloved mentors taught me, the Divine Presence working within us and through us can do infinitely more than we can hope or imagine.
Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us through his commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
Ba-ruch a-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo me-lech ha-’olam a-sher ki-di-’sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav vi-tzi-van-u li-had-lik ner shel Ha-nu-kah.
Blessed are you Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days, at this time.
Ba-ruch a-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo me-lech ha-’olam, she-a-sah ni-sim la-a-vo-tei-nu ba-ya-mim ha-hem baz-man ha-zeh.
(And on the first night add this prayer)
Blessed are you Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this very moment.
Ba-ruch a-tah ah-doh-noi eh-loh-hay-noo me-lech ha-’olam, she-he-chey-ya-nu, v’i-ki-ma-nu, vi-hig-ee-ya-nu laz-man ha-zeh.
Chag Sameach my friends.
Vivi 💖 ©