Warmth in Jerusalem

One might think that being in Jerusalem would feel warmer than much of the rest of the world right now…especially other places I might be living:

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Not the case. I think it’s a combination of Jerusalem stone buildings and no insulation, but I honestly think it’s colder in my Jerusalem apartment these days than it ever was in my Minneapolis apartment…yes, even when it was -30º. I am just thankful my apartment has some form of heating – no matter how inadequate – instead of just space heaters like many people use.

In other news, a little Jerusalem humor to brighten up the cold day:

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But, if misdirected text messages aren’t enough to warm you up, check out the joyous gathering that was my Thanksgiving last week.

Thanksgiving in Jerusalem, you say? Well, in a country of immigrants, there are a lot of uprooted Americans, and Thanksgiving makes itself known. Many of the grocery stores (especially those in anglo parts of the city) have pumpkin and cranberry sauce appear on shelves in mid-November. The week of Thanksgiving itself, stores get in turkeys – but do your shopping early or you might have to fight someone for the bird you want!

My Thanksgiving day started with a siyum (closing) in my Chumash (five books of Moses, ie, the Torah) class. We have a siyum every time we finish a parasha (weekly Torah portion). Last week, we finished Parashat Noach – the story of Noah and the ark and the flood…maybe you’ve heard of it? 🙂 Since the timing coincided with Thanksgiving, we decided to have the best of both worlds and make it a ‘Noah on the Mayflower’ party:

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For the big festive meal, I joined together with about 30 others and enjoyed probably my most extravagant Thanksgiving meal to date. I guess if 30 people contribute to a meal, things get reallllll fancy. The table was dressed to impress and there were so many dishes we had to cycle the food through since it couldn’t all fit:

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The hosts cooked a whole turkey…if you dare, locate the neck in the remains below:

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And, in closing, PIES!

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I also brought the applesauce brownies mentioned in this post as my contribution to the meal.

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