On Thursday morning, I was sitting in the Beit Midrash studying Talmud with my chevruta Rachel when we noticed a large crowd of people gathering around the windows. "What's the commotion?" we asked. "It's snowing!" Now, don't get too excited. It turns out that in the Middle East there is no distinction made between sleet, hail, and snow. Anything frozen that falls out of the sky is classified as snow.
This was sleet, and with it came all of the unpleasantness of winter - freezing rain, cold fingers, runny noses, and slippery streets. It lasted through the night last night, and then I woke up this morning to a beautiful, sunny, 45 degree February day. I make it a rule not to complain about the rain here - I live in the desert, after all, and all rain is a good thing. That being said, I do have a preference for rain in warmer weather - I find it to be easier on the body.
Thursday marked the end of the second week of the new semester - I've finally settled into a new class schedule, though I think it's going to take a little while longer before I remember what room all of my classes are held in.
In the mornings, I've moved from Level Bet Talmud and Chumash to Level Bet+, which means that I now spend three days a week studying Talmud and two studying Chumash instead of vice versa. It's a good change for me - I'm with a group of nine other students, seven of whom I was in Bet with before - and the smaller class size makes it easier to get to know people and get focused attention from the teachers.
I'm taking five other classes - Philosophy of Halacha, Women and Mitzvot, Critical Issues in Modern Jewish Thought, Torah Trope, and Hassidut. They're all very interesting, and I think I'm going to learn a lot. I'm especially excited to be studying Torah trope - it's really eciting to think that at the end of the semester I'll be able to chant Torah!
I had some friends over for sushi on Thursday, which was quite the adventure - I hadn't made sushi rice in a few months and I forgot how messy it is! It turned out well in the end, and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Tonight we're going out to celebrate Miriam's acceptance into rabbinical school, which we're all very excited about! And then, in a few days, Cara is coming to Israel! (For those of you who don't know, Cara and I did Avodah together in Chicago last year). I'm looking forward to seeing her face again. For now, though, a nap and a shower, because it's Shabbat, and Shabbat is about relaxing!