Monday, December 13, 2004

Singles Shabbaton Chronicles Part 8: Breath of Fresh Air

Friday 7:20 pm

Miriam has come upstairs to tell me that the group is going for a walk around Tiberias, and I’ll feel better if I get outside. I gaze out the window, at our view of the Kinneret at night. I always feel peaceful near the water. I wash my face and get dressed again. My eyes are red but I don’t care. I have nothing to lose anymore.

Friday 7:50 pm

I am walking with Avi, the Shabbaton organizer, who tells me that 60 people never showed up, and now he’s got a problem over how to pay for the food and the hotel. I thank him for the effort he has put into planning the event. I also suggest that there are women, especially the younger women, who would like it better if he said “Anyone who wants to pray is invited to come now” instead of “Men should come, and also any women who want to.” At first he does not get it, being a Moroccan man in his 50’s or 60’s. But once he gets it, I see the lightbulb go on over his head, and am gratified when he says “Aha! You learn something from everyone. Thank you for pointing that out to me.”

Friday 8 pm

The group is looking at a scenic view and talking about Israeli geography, and I am on the side with Paz, the twenty-something hottie with the huge, expressive blue eyes and long eyelashes. He’s spending a lot of time with me and, unlike most American men, actually looks me in the eye. It’s hard for us to communicate because his English is worse, by far, than my Hebrew, and intellectually we are in completely different places. But he is a nice guy. Being in the fresh air, hovered over by the young Israeli stud with big eyes and long eyelashes is . . . nice.

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