Wednesday, July 27, 2011

D'var Torah - Parshat Masei (mini Bible sermon of the week)

Tonight we had an education committee meeting at work. In the Jewish Community, before we get to business, many board meetings begin with a D'var Torah.

**For those who don't know** the Torah is the main source of text in Judaism - the first five books of the Bible. D'var Torah translates to "words of Torah" and is the sermon during weekly worship service, but can also refer to a very short, 1 or 2 minute "words of wisdom" where someone takes text from the weekly Torah portion (parsha) and relates it to something relevant in our life.)

The Parsha this week is Parshat Masei. I STRONGLY recommend everybody to go to, hopefully the link through youtube worked above! G-dcast has 5 minute cartoon depictions of every single Torah portion. If you are interested in learning about the first five books of the bible through a Jewish perspective, or want to share these with your kids (5th grade and higher), then please watch these weekly! They are amazing.

I have been starting every education committee with a D'var Torah. This meeting was no different. I didn't write anything down and just spoke, so I will try to make this sound as eloquently as possible.

So here goes!

This week's Parsha is Parshat Masei. In this portion, the tribes are distributed over the land of Israel, and given their land. However, the tribe of Levi (the Levites) are not given property of their own - they are distributed all over and told that they are the example for the rest of the tribes. They are scholars, G-d doesn't want them troubled with working the land.  So they are supposed to be the most important, but they aren't important enough to be given their own space? In a way, it's a great lesson for anybody in education, especially Jewish education. You can be a synagogue or church (or I guess a school if we continue the metaphor) without walls. But you can't be a synagogue (etc) without lifelong learning! Despite any other challenges we may have, our goal, and my personal goal as a Jewish Educator is to make sure that lifelong Jewish learning is desired by our adults, and modeled to our youth.

Okay, now go watch the G-dcast video!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

25 thing - Couples

I remember being in middle and high school and filling out these e-mail survey things with all your friends. One summer my friend Heather and I made one up for camp and there were stereotype questions for our camp friends such as who was most _____ and we got in trouble! I still find it fun to fill them out once in a while, and just encountered this couples one. So here goes!
♥ What are your middle names? 
Kesley and Avigail 

♥ How long have you been together? 

Long enough :-)

♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating 
We met online, so no our first date was when we met 

♥ Who asked who out? 
I "winked" at Charlie because my profile was hidden in a different city so I wouldn't get overwhelmed. But he immediately threw away his "wait 4 days to respond" rule (or whatever it is) and responded that day and he organized an AMAZING first date a few days later.
♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most? 
None, they are all over
♥ Do you have any children together? 
Just Odge - he and Charlie watch TV together
♥ What about pets? 
Again, Odge

♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? 
For me, it's that when you start sharing responsibility, everything becomes a "honey did you feed the dog" "sweety did you call the house inspector" and we try to make sure our relationship doesn't turn into just that
♥ Did you go to the same school? 
♥ Are you from the same home town? 
♥ Who is more sensitive? 
Always the girl 

♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? 
The sushi and firehouse subs
♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? 
For now Hawaii, but we plan on going to lots of other places in the near future 
♥ Who has the craziest exes? 
Neither of us are in touch with exes
♥ Who has the worse temper? 
I get really stressed over little things and take it out on him

♥ Who does the cooking? 
I do, he does the eating (and the dishes!)
♥ Who is more social? 
We are about the same and love it about each other
♥ Who is the neat-freak? 
Ha! Definitely me, so much to organize right now too
♥ Who is the more stubborn? 
Me without a doubt, what have I done to deserve him?
♥ Who hogs the bed? 
Geez, I do, I'm sensing a pattern!

♥ Who wakes up earlier? 
Charlie gets up earlier, I wake up a few times and stay in bed as late as possible 

♥ Where was your first date? 
Ferraros Italian restaurant and then a helicopter ride along the strip

♥ Who has the bigger family? 

♥ Do you get flowers often 
via text message emoticons (he also sends me animals and stuff that way)

♥ How do you spend the holidays? 
Odge killed the Easter bunny!

 Who is more jealous? 
I think we've only had one night where this came up and it was Charlie, but it was resolved that night

♥ How long did it take to get serious? 
A little less than a month
♥ Who eats more? 
Always the boy
♥ Who does/ did the laundry? 
Welllllll, right now it's neither of us. But when we move into the new house it will be me :-)
♥ Who’s better with the computer? 
Definitely Charlie! Computer science degree!

♥ Who drives when you are together? 
Always Charlie, even if we take my car

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Catching up part 3: beginning of July until my birthday

Okay, catching up all in one day is tough! Gotta be better at this. Where to being. So, July.....

It was the 2 year anniversary of Charlie's squadron. They allowed everyone to invite their families and significant others for a great family day. I was excited because I (obviously) know so little of the nature of what Charlie does 8 hours a day. I had never even been up to Creech. Geez am I lucky it's only 8 hours a day and I have him home each night though! There was a great presentation about the predator (the unmanned vehicle they fly through a ground control center). They talked about the fact that his squadron is the only one in the US Airforce that is in Libya right now. They managed to declassify some information and show us some amazing videos, which just made me want to wrap my arms around Charlie and kiss him and tell him he's my absolute hero. After the presenation we toured the hanger, and then we even got to see a ground control station!

Mom and Dad infront of the predator

Dad wanted a picture with his BFF Charlie

So proud of my love!

Obviously we wanted a family picture

Dad got to sit in the pilot's seat with the manual, etc

I wanted to participate so I sat in the next seat, which I thought was the copilot, but then was reminded that there is no copilot but a sensor operator.  So as you can see below, I decided to pilot the drone by myself! I look like such a happy little girl!

After the demonstrations and tours there was a barbeque and we met and interacted with many of the families. We all wore name tags, and I was being silly on the way home and decided to put my name tag on Charlie. Then I realized I should edit what it says. 

"Avigail Eisenberg's"
He didn't mind, he likes being mine!

When we got home, we decided to swim, cuz it's just too d*** hot to do anything else! We did a few laps and then we I decided that Odge should have a swimming lesson. I have been worried for a while that he will become old like Oreo was, blind and deaf, and fall in the pool and not know how to swim. Odge was PISSSSSSSSSSSSSED!

It was 4th of July weekend so I decided to be patriotic and get a french tip manicure with red white and blue. Kinda tacky, but whatever, I liked it!

That night we had an impromptu bbq with a lot of our friends and had such a great time. Olga and Jason Lasry came with their kids, Adam, below, and their baby Julia, who never stops smiling. Adam is one of my absolute favorite kids.

Fallen off the blogging wagon, part 2: NYC

Charlie and I decided to go to NYC on our way home.
We took the train and had a fun time, since we never get to do that on the West Coast. I used to take Amtrak between DC and Baltimore basically every weekend, but when something is not the norm it seems special. We were also really excited because there was velcro on the top of the back of the seats, and that was one of Charlie's ideas for his school project about business travel, that you can velcro your phone and other items to the back of the seats so that there is more room on your tray for your laptop. Of course I was being silly taking train pictures.  We got one cute one!

When we go to NY, we realized it was the gay pride parade! It was pretty cool because the vote passed a night before to allow gay marriage in the state of NY. We checked into the hotel but our room wasn't ready, so we walked around and saw the parade. It was kind of funny because we were just walking in the direction of the crowd, but apparently we tried to enter through the entrance for the participants of the parade (it's all block streets so we couldn't really tell). Anyway, Charlie was joking that we should get upset because of "straight discrimination" since we weren't allowed in that entrance. We found our way and here are some pictures.

I got up on a rail to see better - oh, did I mention I was too lazy to put my contacts in?

Something w/balloons, it looked really pretty seeing the whole thing, but my phone didn't capture such a good picture

So many people watching on the street!

This is the largest Gay, Lesbian, etc Synagogue, I took this for you guys, Ryan and Adam!

Best part - on our walk back to the hotel, we literally saw glitter in the street! Ha!!

At our hotel, Charlie asked for a lunch recommendation from the concierge, and he suggested a place called Ben's. I looked it up on Yelp and saw that it was a kosher place - so funny because the guy had no idea I was Jewish, (although I am far from kosher).  We walked over (so fun to walk everywhere!). The place was huge, and I was already excited at the knishe's on the display right when you walk in. It was interesting because we instantly noticed the ethnicity of all the waiters and patrons - total hodge podge! When we sat down I realized a quote written on the top of the wall behind us that said "A couple was dining out one night at the neighborhood kosher deli when they were amazed to have a Chinese waiter approach to take their order." I wish I had taken a picture of the quote! Charlie enjoyed a turkey sandwich with gravy, and a potato pancake on the side (I taught him it was called a latke), and he tasted my kreplach and knish and all the other stuff (I ordered a combo plate). I was super excited about the pickles, mmmmmmm. Kinda funny though because I am so involved in the Jewish community and consider myself Jewish in every sense of the word, but hardly ever eat those types of foods.

My love with his giant Ben's meal

That afternoon Eden came and met us at the hotel. Charlie had some schoolwork to do, and Ede and I walked around and caught up. So amazing to see her! We had some coffee and went into some department stores. We went to the *I think* 8 story Macys, and once you get to around the 5th floor, they still have the original escalator from their opening! It was cool seeing it with the wooden slats. We then went and sat in Bryant Park. There was a new outdoor looking bar/restaurant sponsored by SWA for the summer, where you can bring your own food or picnic, or get food from them. They wait on you regardless of if you buy food from them or bring your own. Here is a pic of us below:     
We walked back to the hotel and Charlie had just finished his meeting. We all hung out a bit which was so nice, and then had a yummy sushi dinner with Ede. The next day I really wanted to have dim-sum for lunch so we found a place in Chinatown and ordered a combo plate. It was also a tea parlor, and although we didn't order tea, I took a picture because it looked so pretty. Charlie had a really good ginger ale that has real ginger in it, very fresh tasting, spicy even! The company is Bruce Cost and I want to order some for the bar in the new house!

tea selection at Nom Wah tea parlour/dim sum
dim sum combination plate - heavenly!

We took a taxi back from Chinatown toward Central Park and walked around. It was nice to be out of the smell! I do NOT remember NYC smelling so badly. I really think the city smelled better for a period of time and is at a worse smelling part now. Thoughts? After walking around the park we went and got ready for dinner with my Aunt Janice (again, really a second cousin from my mother's side), and her daughter Allison and Ali's boyfriend. We ate at a cute place called the cafeteria, where I had a mac and cheese combo (3 different ramekins, but small enough to not feel like a heffer). Anybody who knows me knows that mac and cheese is my absolute favorite food. We walked from that area to the east village, passing through NYU area and Washington Square Park. We met Charlie's friend Pete who was stationed with him before he came to Creech. He is still flying C-17's and is stationed in New Jersey between Philly and NYC. He and two of his friends came, and so did Eden and another pledge sister Jill Mogensen, (Jilly-Mo) which was so much fun. Jilly-Mo told me about this shot that I don't remember the name of, and it sounds disgusting but I'd really recommend it! Basically you take a shot of whiskey, and then chase it with a shot of pickle juice. You gotta try it!

Already fallen off the blogging wagon! Part 1: Boston

Whoops. I just haven't had time to update this! The whole reason I started this was because it's fun to keep track of what fun things have happened, even if they are ordinary like "we went to Nick and Jess's and hung out at the pool with a few other military couples" (which was actually a really fun time!)

Okay, I'm going to really try to catch up - may take a few posts!

-End of June:

Charlie and I went to Boston for school. We stayed with Aunt Jackie (technically my dad's cousin but like an aunt to me). She lives a few minutes from Hebrew College, and an hour away form Charlie's school in Worcester. Yoav (another cousin of my dad but only a few years older than I am, so basically a cousin to me), picked us up from the airport and we had a nice dinner in an Italian area of Boston. So yummy having homemade pasta! The next day we saw Alina which was so nice, especially since we can't make their wedding. Alina is Yoav's fiancee. The last time I saw her was when they visited me in Baltimore. We walked around a bit, but it was pouring rain and so we took a taxi to the Jewish area and got some goodies from the Israeli grocery store - chocolates, bisli, and best of all, milki!! Milki is a chocolate pudding that is topped with whipped cream. Grew up on it.

I was so lucky to see Lisa Dadian the next day, one of my best friends from college. She has been getting her masters and BCBA (behavior certification, she does ABA for kids w/autism like I used to). Her school is in Cape Cod and she is working a bit west of Boston this summer. It was remarkable to catch up with her. She is very much like Moran (my best friend since were babies who lives in Israel), where we do not stay in constant touch, but when we see each other it's as if no time has passed. We met Lisa's boyfriend of the past two years at dinner at Legal Seafoods (one of my favorite restaurants), and Caroline (my first little from DG), and Luke (her long term college boyfriend, now living together in NH), drove down to join us! Lisa stayed the night with us in Jackie's basement (on the couch, sorry Charlie!).  Charlie left really early the next morning to go to his residency weekend in Worcester, and then Lisa drove me there later in the day since it was on her way to where she is working this summer. We had the best time in the hour trip over.

When I got to Worcester I checked in at the hotel and did some work, and then I walked around. Apparently, the Worcester museum is one of the best in the US, so I walked over there and looked around. I am not an art guru, but enjoy feeling cultured, and I do like reinassance style pieces (I disocvered this my first year in college on a trip to Florence with my mom).

A very large floor mosaic

Another mosaic picture - look sisters, she must have been the first Delta Gamma!!!

I thought the above was cool because it is the view of the second floor - when you're on the first floor, you don't even notice that orange thing, just the mosaics!

After the art museum I met Charlie's class at a restaurant/pub, which was nice to put faces to names. The next day we drove back to Boston and had dinner that night with the whole family. We went to my Great Uncle's house, Shari, and his oldest daughter Adina (Shari's three kids are Adina, Jackie, Andre). Shari is my grandma's middle brother. My grandmother (90 years old this December!) is the oldest, then Shari and Berta were twins, and Dolfi, or Benyamin as non-family calls him, is the youngest - he is my cousin Yoav's father. Yoav and Alina were at dinner, as well as Aunt Jackie and Mercio, and Uncle Andre and Judit, and their kids Brit and Sam. Sam shot up like a whole foot since the last time I saw him. He and Brit are doing well and it was great to see them! Sam will be in high school and Brit is a senior next year. We celebrated Alina's birthday and sang happy birthday in many languages (between us we spoke 5 fluent languages - English, Hebrew, Romanian, Russian, Portuguese). 

Enjoy the pics and get excited for part 2: NYC.!

Brit bringing Alina her birthday cake

Blowing out her candles! Happy Birthday, יום הולדת שמח, fericit ziua de nastere,  С Днем Рождения

From left to right: Adina, Brit, Sam, Uncle Andre, Shari, Yoav (sitting), Aunt Jackie, Alina (sitting), Chralie, me, Judit

Take two of the fam

I think everyone is looking!

Me and Great Uncle Shari