So It has been a crazy past few weeks with Chanukkah and then a few days later I (Naomi) left for America for a two week visit. Chanukkah was absolutely beautiful in Israel, so nice to see the decorations everywhere that were not Christmas but all Magen Davids and Menorahs, etc. Chanukkah in Israel is very different also because it misses the Hallmark aspect that it has very much taken up here. Presents are not the priority, but rather the priority is the lights and celebrating the lights. Nate and I learned many new explanations to the holiday, all of which are too long to explain here, but one day we will share them.
Nate and I were both off from school for a few days so we did some trips to the old city to do some touring- through the Arab shuk and to the Holy Sepulcher. Nate gave me a great deal of information about where we were and the history of it, information that was (and rightfully so) left out of my private Jewish day school education. We also went to a number of chanukkah celebrations including a party at each of our schools and a party at family friends.
The most exciting thing of all was shabbat chanukkah I would say when our friend Doni who has been in the army for almost a year now was given leave and came for a visit. It was completely an unexpected visit (he called midnight the night before) but we were so happy to see him and to have the time, although short (he left Saturday night about 30 minutes after shabbat ended), to spend with him. We also had another friend, a new friend, Janis who I had met at school, and who we instantly have seemed to click with. It was a calm shabbat but just fun because we were with friends.
After shabbat that week I was very lucky to finally meet Nate's Kibbutz Ima (mother) Rosie. She is the woman who made our beautiful ketubbah. It was really a great honor and a lot of fun to finally meet the woman who I had only spoken on the phone to once before, yet who had ment so much to Nate while he was living in Israel on Nativ. We concluded chanukkkah with a lot of rest which was absolutely necessary- our last day we spent watching movies in our house and not really actually getting out of our pajamas. It was rest much needed.
As I said, a few days later I left for America for a two week trip. The original purpose of my trip was to come in for a very close friend's wedding- Tamar Sterling (now Katz). I have known Tamar since I was about 4 and a half and I really could not ever picture missing her wedding, so I didn't! I came in about a week before the wedding and spent some time with Nate's parents which was really nice. They took me shopping to buy a "few" things Nate and I needed and they had a really nice dinner and desert to see family and friends. They also gave us a really nice gift while I was there, our new camera. It is really cool, although I have to say I do not know how to fully use it.
From there I went to my parents house. It was so exciting to see my mom (and the rest of my family of course) and to be able to spend so much time with her. We also did a "bit" of shopping (including a new suitcase so I could fit all the new things), and we got to see a really great movie which I highly suggest- National Treasure: The book of secrets. I am actually still in America for the end of my trip and will be flying back to Israel on Sunday. I am very sad to go and will miss mine and Nate's family very much but I unfortunately was on this trip alone, and that has been very hard. I am missing Nate a lot and I can not wait until Monday when I get to see him (I land on New Year's Eve at 5pm). I have really started to enjoy living in Israel, and even though I know I am supposed to call it home I have not yet felt that attachment to it (other then it being my home as a jew). But being here in America, away from it, I have learned a very important lesson. Growing up home was always where my family was, and it still is today, except now my immediate family is Nate, and my home is where he is, whether in Israel or in America, or anywhere else in the world. I can not wait to go home!
It looks like Nate and I will be lucky enough to come visit America this summer among some other traveling, and this trip will be again to go to a wedding- Nate's college roomate Josh Rabin, and of course to visit our parents. We very much look forward to this trip and hope we will get to see some friends as well.
Thats all for now, it should catch you all up on what we are up to. Sorry it has been so long since we have written. We will hopefully write soon. I will post pictures of my trip when I am back in Israel.