Sunday, October 24, 2010

Shehechiyanu!

Hey gang!
We got our car!  Yayyyy!!  It is gorgeous!  Sleek and rugged and shiny and beautiful!  I am terrified to drive it!!  I am so nervous I am going to scratch it and bang it up!  And I feel a little awkward having such a spiffy car on kibbutz.  It's not very kibbutz-like (like the story about the kibbutznik who visits a ranch in Texas, and the rancher is giving him a tour, and he says (it's better with Ross' southern drawl, but picture it with a drawl), "On my ranch I can git up in the mornin' and drive and drive all day, and I won't reach the other side by nightfall," and the kibbutznik responds, "Yeah, I used to have a car like that too!").  But I am sure that within a few weeks (or days?), it will be banged and scratched and covered with dirt, just like all the other kibbutz cars, and then our only worry will be how could we have paid so much money for this filthy, banged up car?!  I believe we paid more for this car than for all our other 4 cars that we have ever owned combined.  We could have bought a used car, but we couldn't resist using our "right" as immigrants to purchase a new car with ONLY 75% taxes, a right that is good for only 3 years. 
 
It fits our whole family pretty comfortably, and supposedly our groceries, at the length of a corolla (though it's wider), and it gets the best gas mileage of any car around here that will do all that, and it is a Toyota, so we expect it to last us for a very long time. 
 
In other news, I want to update you about the fish at Sachne!  I was there on Friday, and I thought to myself, I should really try out this fish pedicure thing.  My whole swim from the bridge to the waterfall, I was thinking to myself, "You can do this, Emily.  You know it's safe. They said so on the Today Show.  Rebecca does it.  You love soft feet.  You'll try it for 15 minutes.  You gotta see if it works!"
 
These thoughts carried me all the way to the waterfall, where I found a nice spot for a massage and backed myself in.  I relaxed my feet, thinking, bring 'em on!  Three seconds later, it felt like a swarm of man eating sharks was closing in on my feet.  I let out a yelp, and before I even knew what I was doing, I had dived in, and was swimming as fast as I could back to the bridge.  I was kicking and kicking for several seconds, as though I still had to shake them off of me.  I was looking around me under the water, and it suddenly occured to me-- the fish in the video were teeny.  They were probably smaller than my finger.  These guys are more like the size of my whole hand!  Do they really just nibble off the dead skin, or could they take off a whole toe with it?!
 
It's really not that I'm squeamish.  It's more than I am concerned for their moral development.  I mean, isn't that "ever min hachai?!" (the prohibition of eating a limb off a live animal-- a prohibition that applies to "the sons of Noah,"  meaning all those who were saved in the flood)  Those guys were saved in the flood!  In fact, ALL the fish were saved in the flood!  Have they no respect for G-d's other creatures?!  Do they even know or care that I don't even eat fish?!?!?!?!
 
Anyway, other than that the swim was pleasant.  No big stories to tell.
 
I'll just conclude with a smart kid report.  The subject today is Rivital (and Shai too, actually, in the sequel, which I'll just go ahead and give to you now.  I know how you hate suspense...)
 
Ross was studying Talmud with Tali on Shabbat.  They have been learning Tractate Megillah.  They had been discussing issues related to how you know what is considered a walled city, in that you would have to read megillah on Shushan Purim (for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about-- it doens't matter).  So then out of nowhere the text mentions an akronym-- MNTzPCh (they do that sometimes).  Ross looks at it and wonders what it stands for.  He glances at Rashi, smiles, and says to Tali, "Ah!  I'll give you a hundred dollars if you can tell me within five seconds what MNTzPCh is (or maybe he knew without looking at Rashi, but the story is way better this way, dontcha think?).  He starts counting: 1.....2.....3.....4..... Rivital: ALL THE LETTERS THAT HAVE FINAL LETTERS?"  And there goes 100 dollars!  Just like that! 
 
When we spent seder at our neighbors in Baltimore (the cantor of the shul and his family), the cantor did this thing where he would ask questions throughout the meal, and offer rewards for the answers.  He would say things like, "I'll give you 2 dollars if you can tell me....x.... (whatever-- I'm too tired to think of a real example).  If no one knew, he'd raise the ante.  "I'll give you 5 dollars.  Alright 10 dollars....  For one question, he was really dragging it out, until he said, "Alright I'll give a thousand dollars to anyone who can tell me who was the (whatever).  And at that moment his teenage daughter stepped in from the kitchen, not having heard the question until then.  She immediately answered it correctly, and BOOM-- bought herself a new car.  OK, I'm making up the part about the new car for effect.  Boy, I'm dangerous when I'm tired!  But she did get a thousand dollars!
 
Anyway, so Rivital made her easy hundred, and later she was telling what happened to Shai.  Shai said, "Well what was it?"  and she said, "Ah, you wouldn't know it." and Shai said "try me." and of course he came out with the right answer immediately!!!!
 
With that I'm off to sleep. I am sooooooooo  tired zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  Love,,Em

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