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Beginning to taste the sweetness in the land of milk and honey!

I have been in Jerusalem for almost a full week now. I have met many other students in my cohort, been to the shuk (market), eaten falafel, hummus, and Israeli salad, celebrated Shabbat, and settled into my new home.

While in Switzerland on my layover, I began a blog post that I did not finish. It read as follows: "It is 2:30 am my time. I have not slept. Trying to power through in order to reset my internal clock as quickly as possible. My flight to Tel Aviv leaves in about an hour. I can barely believe this day is here."

I was so excited I could not contain myself. Then I arrived and reality set in. This is the first time in my entire 27 years

here on earth that have I have lived more than two hours from my mom. Living together over the last two years strengthened our relationship in ways that I never imagined possible. Ruth Anderson is so much more than my mom; she is my mentor, my friend, my support system, my sounding board, my favorite human, and so much more than can not be put into words. Needless to say, leaving her has been difficult for me.

My first few nights were spent in a hotel room alone. I met classmates during the day, but when the sun went down I found myself alone in a dark room feeling completely paralyzed by my new situation (and the jet lag only made it worse). I quickly found that I was not alone in this feeling. The fear and discomfort of moving to a land that is not your own is in fact scary for many people, me included. Talking about my concerns and fears with classmates, faculty, and of course my mom helped me through those first nights. I will always remember that struggle and the support that was lended to me. I hope not to feel that way again this year, but if I do, I know where to turn.

You may be wondering what changed...truth is a huge part was just getting out of that hotel and into my apartment. I have never been a fan of having roommates, but I think that for this year in Israel, it will be imperative to my mental health and overall well being. Bonus, my roommates are awesome. I have not yet met one of them, but from the conversations we have had, I am sure she will be great! The place is beautiful and great for hosting Shabbat dinners. I look forward to continuing to settle into my new home and my new life for the year.

Class begins tomorrow, and though I am nervous about my Hebrew, I am here for a reason. Many reasons really. Every day will be a new adventure and I look forward to sharing them with you. The ups and the downs.

Shabbat Shalom!!

Side note: I never did discuss why I named my blog "dancing with timbrels." My Hebrew name is Miriam. My hope for my journey through rabbinical school and my career is that I may be like Miriam and guide people through prayer, music, dance, kindness, and leadership.

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