I finally got my luggage today.
That was all I wrote before I decided to retroactively write this entry. Let's pretend it's Sunday, shall we (though it is actually 23:30 Jerusalem Standard Time Tuesday night)? You know what, never mind, I'm utterly exhausted.
I have half a mind to pitch a tent at the Kotel if I can't find an apartment soon. I am grateful to Dave, Menachem, and Zach who have let me crash on their couch for the past couple of days and I hope not to have to impose on them for much longer (plus I can couchsurf to someone else's apartment). Whether it is flathunting.com, homeless.co.il, couchsurfing.com, the housing bulletin at Pardes, or the real estate kiosks on Emek Refaim, I am not having much luck in finding an apartment. Once I do, I want to pay it forward and let people stay on my couch. It's this kindness, an amenity that is endemic in Jerusalem.
For some reason I also seem more inclined to give tzedekah to people on the streets. It seems to put me in a better mood as well. At least I now have clothing. Now I just have to keep looking for an apartment and hope for the best... that and find out when my interview is for Rabbinical School so I can book my flight to New York.
Back to the past shabbos, I went to Yakar, a shul with a Carlebach service (that cannot compare to Ramat Orah), and to Kedem, a Traditional-Egalitarian service, the latter of which did Duchanen (the Priestly Blessing) at both shacharit and musaf on Shabbat (Welcome to the Holy Land). This is also where I serendipituously ran into Rabbi Elyse Winick, the head of the KOACH birthright trip I went on last year who told me to visit the hotel for mincha and to visit my friends on the current trip. I arrived early to the hotel and after hanging out with Jaymie, Becky, and Josh for a few minutes I got kicked out for their closing ceremonies until mincha, so I decided to walk to the Old City a few blocks away from the Har Tzion Hotel. I ascended Madrigotei Benny (Benny's Steps) which were actually only a couple of steps and mostly a winding ramp made of Jerusalem Stone. Jerusalem stone is an especially marbly and slippery stone, particularly when wet, and with the rainy weather I almost cracked my head open or almost fell off the Old City's cliffs. I entered at Zion Gate, walked around the Armenian Quarter for the couple of minutes (I think some Arab children were pretending to shoot me from the parapets of the old city with their umbrellas). I wanted to find the Tomb of King David, but could only find Dormition Abbey and Pat Robertson's Holyland Institute. Oh well... back to the hotel, at least I got Marzipan Ruglach out of the deal. I also found out that it takes 20 minutes walk from the base of the Old City hill to the apartment via Emek Refaim, the El Rodeo Drive of the New City.
That's it for now,