Hashtag 40 days (2012)

Today was my first day to post on 40Days4Israel. This is scary stuff, people! 1500 people saw Sara’s first post. That’s… a lot. I went through last year’s posts to make sure I didn’t repeat anything, because how embarrassing would that be? 

And then, just for kicks, I put them here to share with you. Get into the 40 days spirit! Enjoy!

  • Living in Israel means getting to host people who visit from the US (and other places) all the time. LOVE that. (Welcome to my humble abode, Leyat!)
  • No words to describe singing Im Eshkachech at Matan and Gila’s chuppah overlooking the Old City…
  • Celebrating my birthday tonight with friends from ten different countries (!!) by going to a kosher wine and cheese bar (!!!), where we’ll enjoy some drinks from the world-renowned Israeli wine industry (!!!!).
  • An entire city spending the day preparing for Shabbat does not get old. Shabbat Shalom!
  • Spent Shabbat with friends who made aliyah just before I did. They couldn’t be prouder of their son, who is now in the army protecting our land and our people. 
    What a miracle that we have the ability to protect ourselves and that we take pride in doing it.
  • Negotiating with my Israeli brethren got me a free coffee and an extra five minutes to return my rental car, both for my birthday, and an extra personal training session because I insisted the prices were unreasonable.
    When everyone’s your family, every conversation is a little different.
  • Taking a minute on the way into Jerusalem to picture what the city looked like just 100 years ago.
  • Biggest challenge of the summer: How to attend all of Jerusalem’s festivals
    Happy summer in THE city!
  • Feeling the weekend approach while others are starting their hump day. Love you guys but this part’s kinda fun!
  • First time ever in a convertible today! Just another day of work in Israel….
  • Yesterday, I went to my grandmother’s cousin’s funeral. Gidon, like those of his generation, was part of the founding of our country and our army, fought for the land I live on, for the place we call home. In the words of his nephew, זכיתי להיות שם. 
    Loving and appreciating this place in his memory – 40Days4Israel.
  • Last night on the way home, a truck driver stood facing the guardrail next to his parked truck. I assumed the obvious until I realized that the driver was davening mincha. All along the road, drivers stood alongside their cars/vans/trucks as the sun was setting. Only in Israel.
  • Loved dancing last night at a club by the sea with the lovely Joanna who, decked out in veil and sash, was wished mazal tov by dozens of other club-goers…. mazal tov, Jo! Can’t wait to dance again Thursday night!
  • “So I miss the wine festival… it doesn’t compare to serving my country.” –Jeremy Ross on miluim
  • Cucumbers that taste like candy.
  • ONE WEEK. [Countdown to the wine festival. Don’t be surprised if this one rears its head again.]
  • What more could an Olympics lover ask for than two countries to cheer for? So. Excited.

And the conclusion:

Even without the daily postings (you’re welcome), I refrained from saying anything negative about Israel during the last 40 (39) days. It really changed the experience of daily living… hope to continue!

There are no words to describe the feeling of being in Jerusalem during the three weeks, the nine days, and Tisha B’av. It’s a painful, lonely, paradoxical time, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

Wishing everyone an easy and meaningful fast, and a גאולה שלימה!

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40Days4Israel

Last year, Janglo presented something called the 40 Days 4 Israel Challenge: to go 40 days – leading up to Tisha b’Av – without speaking badly about Israel. They chose this time because it is the period that the meraglim scoped out Israel before coming back and speaking badly about the land; and as they say, the rest is history. Participating in 40Days4Israel is a way to negate the action of the spies.

When I heard about this last year I thought it was a great idea, and joined the challenge. While it’s easy to find amazing, unique, and special things about Israel, it’s a lot harder to refrain from talking about the negatives – and to be clear, this means I didn’t say anything negative about living here AT ALL, even to my mother.

This turned out to be a remarkably rewarding challenge, and literally changed the way I went through my daily life. When it was done, I thought I might even continue it ad infinitum (hahahahaha, right?)  I’m really excited to be starting again; and this year we’ve created a Facebook group in the hopes that more people will take this challenge upon themselves.

And so, without further ado… here I go!