Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hello, World!

Hello friends,

As explained in the heading, I'm about to embark on a priorly unanticipated journey. For most of my life, I was quite sure of my life's course. I would ascend the ivory tower and stay there until my bones calcified. I planned to nestle in the warm embrace of Academia. Working toward tenure, building respect in my research area within an international community, and attending conferences in far off countries.

If asked about those ambitions today, all I have by way of response is the old Yiddish proverb (as though there is another kind):

"Man makes plans and G~d laughs."

Supplanting these ambitions is a previously uncharted course.
I will be returning to Israel in early June. And after a few weeks of sight-seeing and couch-surfing I will begin learning in the summer program at the yeshiva Machon Shlomo in Jerusalem. I hope to be fluent in Hebrew by the end of the summer, and to that end will be participating in an ulpan (language immersion program) at Haifa University in August. In the fall I will return to Machon Shlomo for the year. In my spare time, I will be building a non-profit organization (more on this later).

Every second I think about it, I feel the tinge of excitement on my skin and in my bones. Morgan Freeman's last lines in the Shawshank Redemption capture the feeling well:

"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain."

As my mom will readily inform you, I have a fairly flaky track record when it comes to blogs. As a good-faith token, I'll publish some of my recent art projects within 24 hours.

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