What a serendipitous afternoon in Jerusalem! After seeing my mom and visiting with friends this morning, I took a long and glorious walk through Sacher Park. Beaming in the sunshine, I instigated a game of frisbee with friends before continuing onto Shabbat lunch for incredible food and conversation.
After lunch, I took to the streets of Nachlaot singing out gospel to the world when I was flocked by a group of young teenagers who begged me to teach them the song and how to sing it like me. I spent 40 minutes in the middle of the street, working with them on “How Glorious and Excellent is Our God” (leaving out the Jesus rhetoric, of course). The teens were thrilled, shared their fresh passiflora fruit with me and convinced me to let them join my choir… (Surprise – I might move to Israel for the summer and found a gospel choir as none to my knowledge exists. I suppose this could be my unique factor – what I bring to Jerusalem… ;-)
After I left the teenagers and began walking toward home, I chanced upon… a hooper! And a really good hooper at that. Not Gianna Twirlwind (my Austin housemate) level of good, but this girl was working multiple hoops simultaneously and incredibly smoothly. I introduced myself and we hooped together and exchanged tricks. I taught her some acro and we’re going to start choreographing and putting together a mini-troupe to do performances if / when I come this summer. I also recently discovered the Jerusalem acroyoga community and am going to be organizing open jams on Shabbat afternoons to build and grow the circus community in Jerusalem. Score!
Two more serendipitous moments: As my new friend Shoshana and I were hooping, a family ran over and frantically asked if anyone had a cell phone. Their daughter had fallen and become unconscious and they needed to call an ambulance stat. Given that it was Shabbat, no one had a cell phone on them… but me. I haven’t been using my phone much on Shabbat, but – as I left the house this morning – I thought: “Hmm, you never know. I might need it.” I called 101 (Israel’s 911), rounded up a medic and waited with them until the ambulance came.
You’d think the afternoon could not get much more uncanny, but… as Shoshana and I hooped and performed, a large crowd gathered around of Birthright students from UMaryland! Sensing that all of this was somehow meant to be, I found their trip leader, introduced myself and began pitching the Jewrotica campus events that we are kicking off this Spring. Very fittingly, UMD is the one campus whose Jewish newspaper just did a story on us!
And that’s without mentioning that I finally found a worthy opponent in “Anagrams” at a Shabbat oneg (festive gathering) last night. No one has beat me at this game in almost years and last night I was schooled and got my butt kicked three times in a row by the same person - so refreshing. :-)
Min Hashamayim (from the heavens), I tell you. I’ve made a crew of theater friends here and am off to partake in a birthday celebration. For all those who bounced on their parents laps to The Noble Duke of York as a child, this post can be summarized as “and when you’re up, you’re up…”
posted by ayo