What does Yofi Tofi

Well I've been here for over a week now.

That's weird.

I feel like I just got here

but also feel like I've been here for a while

.... both at the same time.

(I feel like a missionary for saying that,

they always say that at the beginning of their missions it seems.)

I'm starting to get into the routine of things

as far and classes and stuff goes.

They seriously assign so much reading it's insane,

I don't know if I'll ever get accustomed to that. haha.

I don't know how people actually get through it all,

especially since the reading assigned isn't ... easy.

It's times like this I realize:

I'm a college student.

Whhaaaat.

(Seriously ... I'm way too young for that.)

Yesterday we had our second day of Hebrew class.

I am enjoying learning a little bit about the language

but even more I am enjoying hearing stories of everyday life

from our Jewish teacher

Mrs. Goldman.

There is so much about Jewish 'culture'

(I use that word cautiously due to a lecture we just had in our Islam and Palestine class)

that I know nothing about!

The little I DO know is SO interesting to me

and it definitely makes me want to know more.

For example.

She taught us a song:

"Shabbat Shalom"

(Peaceful Sabbath)

that many Jewish people will sing on Fridays at sundown

to welcome the Sabbath.

She said that her family always turns off all electricity

in preparation for the Sabbath

as the Sabbath is meant to be a family day.

People should not be distracted with other things

or "Do work."

She also shared with us a prayer that is sung

after every meal in which they eat bread.

From what I understand

everything you could eat (or drink) has is a prayer that

one should recite either before or after

(... I think it depends on the food as to when you say the prayer but I'm not sure).

Tomorrow we get to go on a field trip to

The Western Wall

(which is one of the Holiest Sites of the Jewish faith).

We will be there

on Friday at sundown

to welcome in the Sabbath.

We were instructed to wear long skirts

and to not bring cameras or purses

as the Jewish people consider this

"Work"

and therefore breaking the Sabbath.

I think learning about other religions and cultures

really makes you reflect on

your own faith and traditions.

(cue Teviah [from Fiddler on the Roof] ... "TRADITION !!")

Whether you agree with the doctrine or not

I think there is much truth that can be found in all religions,

and I think we can learn aspects of faith from many different places.

It is fascinating to me

the respect that the Jewish people hold

for the Sabbath day.

Admirable I'd say.

Another thing I learned in Hebrew class

was the expression

"Yofi"

meaning

"Great, excellent!"

Mrs. Goldman said that often kids will combine

"Yofi"

with the word

"Tofi"

meaning: good.

And say:

"Yofi Tofi!"

(I've decided to adopt this expression into my vocabulary ... hence the post title :))

Shalom!