Just when you thought things couldn't get more interesting....
So I went to Sachne for a swim yesterday morning. I drive through the entrance, saying hi to the gate lady. I turn right onto the road that bypasses the first parking lot (cuz I know how to do that now. I'm a regular!). I drive down to the last parking lot and go all the way to the end to park in my favorite spot right by the showers. There is not another car in sight. It is winter (maybe a little chilly. Certainly not oppressively hot like it's been), and I get there pretty early, so I'm thinking-- yay! I got the place to myself! I do my little ritual of hiding valuables all over my car before I lock it and clip the key to my bathing suit. I've got me swim cap on and my goggles ready to go. I head down towards the water. Something doesn't look right. The water seems a little low. The kiddie pool is empty. The waterfalls aren't falling, and Holy Cow! The entire spring is empty! The water, that is usually way way way too deep to stand in, and is 200 meters from bridge to waterfall, is EMPTY! I mean, there's a tiny bit of water at the bottom. Maybe it would come to your ankles or shins. And no fish! I mean, I know we haven't been getting rain, but I was just here last Friday! It is a natural spring, right?! And if there is no water, why did they let me in? Itake all the water out in the winter, then I think selling me a membership by telling me they are open year round is a scam, no? f they If there was something wrong, why didn't the gate lady say something? I saw people on the other side by the restaurant-- a couple of guys with motorcycles, and some other people father up. No one was acting like anything was wierd. It was surreal. Like the time when Ross was walking with a friend down a dark alley at night in NY, and he turned to his friend and said, "I don't know how to tell you this, but I think we're in a dream." His friend said, What are you talking about?" and he responded, "There's no hole in my coat pocket. For years there has been a hole in this coat pocket and suddenly there is no hole. I can't explain it. I'm telling you, we're in a dream, man!"
It turned out that he just had his hand in a different pocket. He hadn't realized there were two pockets on each side. But anyway, back to me. So I have a bust day planned and I don't want to miss out on my exercise, so I decide I'll take a hike around the place. I've been wanting to do that for awhile anyway. It is a historic site, where there was an early settlement and an ancient flour mill and all kinds of interesting things. There's a museum on the other side. So I throw some clothes over my bathing suit, and I start walking, and I figure I'll ask the first person I see about the water. I get all the way to the museum, which is open, so I go inside. The first woman I ask has no idea what I am talking about. Then I see a woman from our kibbutz-- I think she is there with a school trip. I ask her where all the water went. First she says she doesn't know what I'm talking about, and I tell her that I went to swim, and all the pools are dried up. She smiles and nods, and explains that in the winter, they divert the waters from all the pools but the first one (the one I bypasses when I came in). She send they send the water to the fish and stuff.
Well then. got in my car and drove to the first pool. It's no 200 meters from bridge to water fall, but it's still pretty beautiful, and way bigger than olympic size. On one side there is even a sort of deck built from stoe under the water to make a big very shallow area for people to sit. There were probably 30 people or so. Only 5 or 6 swimming laps. So this is what it is for winter. Good to know.
So Naomi-- do you still want to come tomorrow?
In other news, how many of you were in B'nei Akiva and what's up with this Hodesh Irgun business?!?!?! Hodesh Irgun ("Organization month?") is apparently the kick off for the year of BI youth programming, though from all the hype, I don't think that quite captures it. It's a very big deal. Just when the holidays are over and you think students can actually start learning stuff, begins the madness. It started with the first Shabbat Irgun, where the kids went for their own Seudah Shlishit and did a lot of singing and yelling. Since then they have had programming almost every night of the week. At first my kids were a little ambivalent, but they too have been swept up by the madness. The final week (this week), the kids are out late every single night. As far as I can tell they are mostly painting walls and practicing for a play of questionable content (where Abaye claims he needs a beer bottle so he can represent the stereotype of the drunk Russian-- a couple of you have already commented on the problematicness of that, and I should really look more into it), and yelling a lot (we can hear them from the apt). This "hodesh" is so important that this last week none of my kids have homework all week! Yesterday they announced that today they will meet from 4:00 to 11:00 PM!! And that's just the elementary school kids (Can you guys imagine Shai up that late?! He is going to a big grumpy lump on Friday!) I asked when they will eat dinner, and they send they send them home for a little break in the middle, but they have no idea what time). I thought that was astonishing enough until Rivital came in last night at 11:00, informing me that their practice will be from 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM!!!! Why? Why? Why? I asked. Because it's "White moon night" (or something like that), as though that explains it. What is she supposed to do from 4:00 to 11:00 before it starts?!?!?! Prop he eyelids open with toothpicks?! (Actually for Talin this won't be a problem) Then the culmination is some big emormous thing Saturday night after Shabbat where I am guessing they will set a house on fire or something (like they do on Lag B'Omer), but who knows? All I know is that it promises to be so exciting, and so late, that SCHOOL IS CANCELLED SUNDAY!! My only question is, "How come I didn't have B'nei Akiva when I was a kid?!?!?!?!?!"
I'm really not complaining. It's cute, and it's great for the kids. They are so excited about it. They are making great friends. It's definitely great for their Hebrew. And they are no worse off in school than anyone else (Did I mention that Abaye got 104 on his first Chumash test and Rivital got a 106 on her "Toshba" (Torah She B'al Peh-- Oral Torah)? Or that Shai has been reading over a hundred pages of Harry Potter per day?). It just makes you wonder how the country produces the greatest number of scientists per capita of any country and leads the world in industry and technology. Is it because they train people to pull all-nighters?
I feel like there is something else I am forgetting, so don't be surprised if a PS follows.
All the best,