Today was quite a day for me (Naomi), I turned 23 years old, and despite the fact that 23 is an odd number and not usually an exciting birthday, it turned out to be great!
For those of you who think I am crazy because I am saying it is my birthday, but you know it is February 19th, let me first explain. You see here, in Israel and in the schools Nate and I are in, we use Hebrew Dates, as apposed to the Gregorian Calender. The Hebrew Calender is a lunar calender that is influenced by solar. My birthday, on the Hebrew Calender is the 28th of Shevat, the date which started last night (since it is a lunar calender the day starts when the moon comes up) and ended about an hour and 10 minutes ago. Here we use the Hebrew Calender. We use it to date papers, date checks, even date contracts.
Because of all this, Nate and I have a tendency not to know what the English date is, so we decided this year, since it was difficult to keep track of the English dates, we would start celebrating birthdays, and anniversaries on the Hebrew dates. The truth is that this is how we will most likely always celebrate it, even when we go back to America, because the Hebrew Calender is the calender to which our lives revolve. We celebrate every holiday, every beginning of the month, and even every week based on this calender, so it makes sense to add birthdays, etc. to our celebrations as well.
Back to my great day! As I said the day started last night, when Nate made me dinner and even made birthday cake for desert. He did a great job, and I greatly appreciated the dinner because I know that he really has little time to cook, which is why I do most of the cooking, because he has class until 6 and then again at 8pm. Further, unfortunately, yesterday one of the Rabbi's at Nate's school lost his father, and the funeral was last night, yet Nate still fit in making me feel special.
The day continued this morning, when one of my friends, Janice, made cookies and brought them to my Gemara class, and had the entire class sing happy birthday to me in Hebrew. It was very cute! On Mondays we only have half days, to give each of us time to do volunteer work in the afternoons (I actually do mine on Wednesday night) so when I left and went home to do my usual babysitting jobs, I thought the celebrations were over. Right as I was about to finish babysitting, when the mom came to pick up her kids, all of the moms and kids in the neighborhood showed up, and Nate of course, at the door with cupcakes that were lit with candles, cards, and singing happy birthday in English. As soon as they finished singing the kids decided to all sing together in Hebrew (they are all between the ages of one and a half and three years old). The cupcakes were absolutely amazing, and the gesture was really very nice. Of course to finish off my day, I came home to find emails and cards from other family and friends sending their birthday wishes.
It was really quite a nice day for just another birthday. I really appreciate all the hard work all my friends put in, and especially Nate!