Happy Adar. That's not a suggestion; that's an order. You have to increase your happiness level immediately and continue doing so for the next few weeks.
Let's begin with cholent. On Friday I went with a group of Pardes students to help out at a soup kitchen/food bank called Hazon Yeshaya--it's in Mekor HaBracha, a small, charedi-type neighborhood by the shuk. The man who runs the kitchen yelled out orders to us to skin potatoes, chop vegetables, and arrange Shabbat food baskets for families. He runs a very efficient kitchen. After preparing the food, he assigned us different jobs. Taking one look at me, he pointed to a massive, boiling hot pot of cholent. I served so much burning hot, meaty, meaty, meaty cholent.
Yad LaKashish (Lifeline of the Old), the greatest organization of elderly craftspeople:
Can't let this photo go undisplayed. Dafna, lead singer of a sculpture in Yemin Moshe. Walls of the Old City behind her:
Today Pardes held its annual Yom Iyun Shel Chesed in which students and faculty leave the beit midrash and participate in different service projects. I went with Leket, an anti-hunger organization, to pick oranges in a field near Rehovot. It was so nice and hot and humid today. Super beautiful. I got a ton of scratches too. It looks like I've been hanging out with a pack of cats.
At the end of the day I went to ulpan. At the beginning of the day, I went to the Kotel with Women of the Wall, Nashot HaKotel. I have so many thoughts and feelings on this day. Dafna and I are going to devote a very special blog post to this experience.