Moroccan Shabbos, Jobs, and the Gift of Friends

I spent Friday night with an old Moroccan couple down the block from me. Their house looked like it hadn’t been renovated for hundreds of years; there were domed ceilings and narrow doorways, and old menoras hanging on the wall. She sat by the table cutting fruit as he talked about the importance of serving Hashem with joy. As the men were singing, I spoke with her about America and dating, and without warning, every few seconds, she let out a loud sefardi cry of, ‘leeeleeeeleeeeleeee!’ Their simplicity left me awed and at ease.

It’s only Monday now, but the week has been so long. The couple I work for is leaving town for a few months, and since they tend to leave often in the colder months, I have to find a new job. I’d been dreaming of getting more involved with Jewish outreach, so I contacted every single Jewish outreach organization I could think of, but nothing came through. The ones that had openings only needed people full time, which doesn’t work with my being in school. So I ended up agreeing to a couple jobs I didn’t love, and planned to start them this week, when, out of the blue, this organization I had reached out to called me and said they had reconsidered and were fine with my hours, and would I come in for an interview?

So I interviewed twice… the first was good, but I don’t think the second went very well. I hope it’s meant to be, but if not, I’m just praying an even better opportunity will come up soon.

In the meantime, I now have a small body of knowledge regarding how to do Chinese massage (which is nothing like the massage in the West) and have been practicing. I feel like a human beanbag at this point, with all my classmates practicing on me. You’d think it would be enjoyable, but when someone’s doing the same painful technique in the same place for minutes at a time…

I’m supposed to be teaching a 10 minute Tai Chi exercise to my class this week- should be fun 🙂 Tai Chi is seriously amazing. It’s mostly made up of small, fluid movements that don’t feel like they’re doing anything to the body, but we leave the class feeling so energized! I barely understand the mechanisms behind it yet, but there’s such simple and genius science to it, and it really works.

I’ve been feeling a bit moody, since my schedule has been pretty unpredictable. If there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that structure is essential for my sanity. At the same time, there have been some really comforting moments recently. This past Motzei Shabbos (Saturday night), I went to an open mic night near me. The week was long, I was feeling under the weather, and I hadn’t thought about what I was singing (I ended up deciding as I was standing on the stage). As I was wondering what I was doing there, three of my friends walked in. We sat by the same table and talked, and it made my night to have their company. These are people I would never have met in the states, and they’ve come to mean a lot to me.

ALSO, my brother Mortzy recently surprised me with a visit, and it was super fun to have him around!!

School is also much easier now that I know the other students and can converse with them better. The biggest key to learning Hebrew, for me, has been relaxing. I’ve tried to train myself not to feel stressed when I don’t understand something, and eventually, it just falls into place. It’s a language with patterns, and they’re becoming easier to pick up.

I recently signed myself up for therapy, and it’s turned out to be a great relief and gift to myself, to just talk my life out to someone who is there to fully listen.

That’s all for now! It’s been almost two years here. Two really full, emotional, growth-filled years. That’s unreal! Thank G-d!

4 thoughts on “Moroccan Shabbos, Jobs, and the Gift of Friends

  1. Two years, I can’t believe it! I’ve been following your journey with awe and respect for your courage and adventurous spirit. You have come so far and have accomplished so many things, large and small. Sending prayers for a safe and fruitful year ahead! Nikki from Florida, USA


    1. Your support is so encouraging, Nikki! Thank you! It’s really been a wild ride 🙂 And an update- they offered me the job today, Thank G-d!


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