Posts Tagged ‘Random Thoughts’

Dear Kids in the USA,

I know you’re not really “kids” but it seemed like a good title so it’s staying. For those of you who are confused, this is an open and public letter to the young ladies and gents at Solomon Schechter Westchester. This letter has been a long time coming, but if you read my blog regularly you should know that I’m a pretty busy guy. This weekend alone I went to a wedding, a bar mitzvah, shopping at the supermarket and mall, spoke on skype with my parents and two friends, watched a movie AND wrote this blog. I’d like to take a second to congratulate myself on spending my time wisely. Congratulations! ::pats self on back::

I would normally use this time to write about what I did in the army this week, but it can be summed up in a sentence or two so I’ll do that now before my letter starts. We re-learned everything we learned at Mikveh Alon. We wasted some time. And then we learned more. All week long we had lessons on guns, hand grenades, bullets, doctors, dentists, ranks of commanders etc. etc. I could write a lot about it, but that would take away from what I’m really here for now; also it’s probably not that interesting unless you’re there in person.

My good friend from school teaches Hebrew at Solomon Schechter and will apparently be following my footsteps and joining the IDF soon?!?! That’s another story for possibly another time. Besides that though, he was in Israel with his class and visiting friends around a month ago. He brought me letters from all his students in class. So finally without further ado, here begins my actual letter:

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all of you for the letters! It really means a lot to me to receive personalized letters from people in the states who truly appreciate what I’m doing. It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile and reminds me after a hard week of why I’m here. You are all amazing! It seems that some of you know more Hebrew than I do at this point… maybe you can give me lessons?

I think it’s great that your growing up learning Hebrew in the States and learning at a school like Solomon Schechter. I say in all honesty that I wish I had gone to a school like yours when I was younger. I can’t complain too much because the public schools in my area are great and I learned a lot there. But even with going to Hebrew School I didn’t get nearly as much education as you all will be. Please don’t take it for granted! Learn as much as you can while you’re there, you never know what you’ll want to do in the future!

And here’s a quick rant for all of you – I don’t know what they tell you about Israel in school, but don’t listen to just one person’s opinions. Read the news, and I don’t mean one website, get the whole story. Read the NY Times, Read BBC, Read CNN, Read HaAretz, Read the Jerusalem Post and so on and so forth. They all report, but they all have their biases. Love Israel, but know the facts. Don’t hate Palestinians, hate terrorists. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is black and white. I’m not here because I’m a diehard zionist, I’m here for dozens of reasons that are spread all throughout this blog and will continue to unfold in the future. Sorry if I went on a tangent that you didn’t like, but I thought I should put that out there.

Hopefully some of you will be back in Israel at some point and I can show you around, I’ll be here for a little longer 😉

Love to all the USA,
Me.

I got into the 101st Airborne!!!

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My time in the army, although short in the grand scheme of my service as a whole, has taught me enormous amounts already. I appreciate everything outside the army as if I were a baby taking his first lick of an ice-cream. Life is sweet, and far too few people are tasting it!

Listening to music has become a privilege, not a necessity, as it seemed to become throughout my time in university. If music wasn’t playing while out of class, and sometimes even in class, life seemed quite and boring. With that thought in mind, I realize now that everyone listening to music 24/7 is missing out on all the beautiful auditory nuances of everyday life. I’ve also become aware that on top of what everyone’s missing out on, listening to music ALL the time also dilutes the meaning behind the very music we care so dearly about.

Looking at the mountains and all of nature when getting off for a weekend is like discovering a new continent. I feel like Columbus (or was it Leif Ericsson?) taking his first step onto the Americas. I am Neil Armstrong on the moon, I am Buzz Lightyear taking first flight. Seeing the same surroundings all week long (even though the base has a gorgeous view) lets me savor and enjoy every sight I see on my brief weekends off.

Smells bring back vivid memories of sweet experiences, wonderful times in the past and the inevitable awkwardness of growing up. Being a child, being a student, being a dirty backpacker. All great things to reminisce about when one has the time to think their own thoughts.

Tasting the crazy foods of the Middle East is a totally new experience in and of it’s own. Most people know me as a garbage disposal eater so I love shoveling down all these new flavors! I eat avocado nearly every day, somewhat of a “delicacy” in the states, where as here it’s just a casual food to throw on a piece of toast…

And who can forget about the sense of touch. Even with my extremely callused hands from countless pushups on gravel, touching something soft is a pleasure unrivaled. A plush blanket, a furry dog, or the gentle caress of a woman…

Change has occurred, which I normally don’t like. I usually like things to stay the same, to be comfortable, but I guess that has changed as well. Life is all about moderation, something I’ve realized in the past, but even more so now. Mix it up and enjoy the good things in life. Appreciate the things you have, because it could be much, much different.

the sweet isn’t as sweet without the sour!