The letters of our thoughts are the ideas present in our mind before they come to realization . . . Thoughts that are, yet not felt . . . The words of the subconscious . . . of the soul . . .


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Rosh Hashanah at 10,800 Feet

Despite a vigorous Twitter debate about the VP Debate -I'm going to write about happier things -Rosh Hashanah here in Cusco! (With pictures -from before the chag- too) 

Click on the link to see the post!

View from the Chabad House

At close to Four Thousand meters above sea level, it takes some time to adjuste to the altitude . . . I'm not the fittest person out there -but when singing and dancing leaves one out of breath, it's somewhat unnerving!

After a day of rest, and some Coca tea, I was in running order -though even now I still loose my breath when running.

Thusly acclimated, we set off on Erev Rosh Hashanah to look for Israelis . . .

. . . a task far easier then one could ever imagine. High in the Andes, Hebrew really seems to be a second language -with signs in Hebrew plastering the place.

A sign advertising an Israeli Rosh Hashanah party -with a free drink with admition and the first 100 girls coming in at half price
. . . Sad aint it?

With all the Hebrew, it's almost like Tel Aviv

We soon made our way to the market, where our senses were assaulted by all kinds of strange sights, sounds and smells.

The market

In need of a 'new' fruit for Rosh Hashanah, we seemed to have come to the best place in the world to get one -there were dozens of fruits that I had never seen before -and for all extents and purposes, may never see again!

As walked around the vendors, we were offered, sometimes rather forcefully, various items . . . Other such visual treats included old ladies with pig tails and white top hats, corn in 30 different colors, and
a dog eating pig guts (there are tons of stray dogs here)

People were very friendly, many of them in awe of the three padres walking down the market aisles (our Yarmulkes seemed to make them think we were bishops of some sort -and several people even went so far as to call me Heisus).

Despite the statements of certain political parties, in Cuzco at least, everyone seems to love Americans (Personally I think the only people who dislike us are crazed nationalists and fanatics (such as certain groups of Russians and Arabs) and snooty-nosed Western Europeans who think that they ought to be the bastion of the world's culture and deciders of policy (such as the French and the city of S. Francisco))

"USA A. Ok!"

As we were leaving the market, we saw a familiar face -an Israeli one!

A great picture (except for the fact that I have such a weird look on my face)

Rosh Hashanah:

The new year began in Cuzco, and after prayers led by Chaim, we went down for the meal . . . 400 (mostly Israelis) strong!

The groups were divided into three groups, and mine -consisting of 137 Israelis and three South Africans- had to be the wildest of them all.
Such interesting guests graced our presence such as Roei Sadan -an Israeli who is biking around the world (He started in Alaska last August, and will be in Tierra del Fuego  by November!), an Israeli who during the last war in Lebanon was hit with shrapnel in his left eye, lung and other fun places -the doctors worked on him for 45 minutes to bring him back to life (They gave him five shocks from the Defibrillator, the normal  amount, but were unable to revive him -the doctor went for a sixth and he came to), and a guy who went to school with a cousin that I never met before.

After davening the next day, we went around to blow Shofar for the Israelis in the various hostels . . .
Coming into one of them, we were greeted by a pungent, earthy smell and a group of red-eyed, giggling, Israelis.
We distributed Yarmulkes to them, though one of them -with dreadlocks that would make Bob Marley proud- explained to us that he already had one on -he quickly produced it from the forest of dreads on his head.

A Motzei Yom Tov picture with some of the guys

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Guest Fan said...

Didn't realize that S.A. had such an Israeli sub-culture. Yasher Koach for being there for Yom Tov. The coca tea reminded me of an "Americana" who bought coca leaves at the market, thinking them to be bay leaves to add to chicken soup! oops! I enjoyed the vivid splash of colors in the corn picture. Safe travels.
Gmar Chasima Tova.

Gruven_Reuven said...

Wonderful! amazing pictures / travel log. Didn't realize there were so many Jews there.

Leora said...

Another great tour. Love those kids who love the U.S. I have a relative of a relative by marriage who came to America, worked for a year, and spent all her money going to South America to hang out with her friends. I guess it's really an Israeli hangout these days. One of my Israeli cousins went with his wife to India to study yoga for a few months; will you be blogging from India next?

You are a great photographer, and the commentary with the photos is a joy to read.

Shana tova. Gmar tov.

Mottel said...

There are tons of Israelis up here, they come to hang out after the army.
-Leora: I'm not aware of any trip to India, but you never know.

chaviva said...

Beautiful photos and a nice peek into the life of the traveling Mottel. Shana tova, and you look great in that last photo!

Mottel said...

Thanks -and nice to know that I look good in at least one picture.