Sunday, July 23, 2006


Saturday morning we went to services at the reform shul where our friend Golan is the rabbi. There was a bar mitzva in progress when we got there, well into the torah portion. It was a small, laid back congregation.
I got emotional at several parts of the service like when Golan blessed the bar mitzva boy and spoke of Jewish continuity. Duirng the prayer for Israel's soldiers I had to get up and get a glass of water least I totally lose it. Good timing too because after that they sang "Lo Yisagoy.." ["And nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they practice war anymore."] usually one of my favorites but there was no way I could form the words today.
Golan gave us big hugs after services. His family is waiting for him in Jerusalem, where they all escaped a few days ago. We compared stories and status. It was good to see a friend.
"You have to take care of yourself now," said Golan. "Being altruistic now means taking care of YOURSELF," he told me. I'm trying.

We went to walk around Zichron, a scenic town which can be described as "the Nyack of the Middle East". One of the earliest Jewish settlements in modern Israel it's main street is now a pedestrian way lined with cute shops, cafes, and botiques. It's the kind of place where even the McDonald's and the bank must comply to "cute" zoning rules.
On the way though Adi called his parents and sister to check on them. His call stressed me out. I wanted NOT to focus on the war for a while, to pretend we'd come to Zichron to enjoy the day as we might do on a normal shabbat. But he'd overheard someone in the synagogue talking of sirens in Haifa, so he had to call. It took me a while to cool off after the call. Adi got me some cold water and we sat for a while, until all his calls were done.

"No more now," I insisted. We walked the lenght of the street, passed the Nili museum where brave resistance fighters helped form this country. Then we doubled back and stopped in a scenic Yemeni restaurant for a malawach before heading to Dr. Lek (origianlly a gay dentist from Seattle, I've heard, now makes a mean Israeli icecream including flavors like poppy seed).

Cholent Time
Back home at Maggie's where we're now camped out we took cooling showers. Then we got to do something I'd been wanting to do for a while. We read the "2nd Trimester" pregnancy brochure from our health plan. It's tone was reassuring rather than scary. Adi read the Hebrew and gave me a simultaneous translation in English. Here are some highlights:
We learned that now it's particularly important to eat vitamin C which helps with absorbtion of iron, and to take iron and folic acid suppliments. It's also important to avoid excessive fiber which gets rid of the iron.
Hartburn is a common symptom of this stage of pregnancy but luckily so far, I'm not suffering from it. If I were, almonds should help.
It's important to rest during the day, and to put my feet up when I can.
I was a bit frightened to learn that my breasts are expected to KEEP GROWING. They are already enormous. I had visions of the scene from Woody Alen's "Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex" movie with the giant run away breast. Yikes!

As for Cholent, he or she can hear now, so it's good to start playing nice music for Cholent and to start speaking to Cholent. We can sing lullibies (actually, I tried today and found I'd forgotten most of the words, looks like we'll have to brush up on these!) and Cholent may recognize our voices.

There was a nice little section at the end of the booklet about "Your Couplehood at this Stage of Pregnancy". It warned that women might experience some mood swings at this stage.
"Nah, no way, they lie!" teased Adi. It also mentioned that women might need more attention now. But it also said that it is important for both people in the couple to share their feelings and try to understand each other.

We napped a bit.

We went to the beautiful beach at Habonim, site of many happy "end of year BBQs" with my kibbutz friends. Adi's parents came from Haifa to meet us.

No comments: