Monday, September 15, 2008

Back in the Holy Land

Hi Folks,

Sorry for the long delay in blogging. I've been all over the world and not exactly in writing mode. I actually have much about which to write and plenty of pictures to show, but hiatus has been so warm and comfortable that I'm not sure about coming out of it.

Actually, my issues started a bit before my trip. Last July I had bumped up to the high-level Gemarah (Talmud) shiur. Now, when I started at Yeshivah, I was taking two classes per day, an hour per day of Chumash (Torah) and a second hour of either Neviim (Prophets) or Halachah (Jewish law.) totalling two hours daily, four days a week. A year or so ago, I bumped up to the beginning level Gemarah (Talmud) class. As the U.S. recession deepened and the workflow slowed to a trickle, I was spending more and more time in Gemarah (maybe three hours per day) until I was bumped up to the advanced Gemarah class. Now all of the sudden I was at four hours per day. Meanwhile, the startup company I've been working with has been consuming more and more of my time and interest. And, of course, I had to prepare for my visit to the U.S. in August. There simply weren't enough hours in the day. Every day, I would not finish all of the day's tasks and push maybe an hour or two forward to the next day. Then I would fall another hour short, and another, and another. Finally, one Shabbat, I was trying to get to sleep, and it just wouldn't come. 2AM, 3AM, 4AM, the hours ticked by. I was getting very upset and nervous. Finally, at 5 AM, I decided that something had to change. I decided to drop out yeshivah and drop the blog completely, until I could reorganize. Fell right asleep after that decision.

A couple of weeks later, I was able to finally get my head above water, and at about the same time, I started getting phone calls from concerned rabbis wondering what had happened to me. I decided to try easing back into the learning life, but still had a hard time.

Finally, this semester, I went back in, but I decided to seriously limit my commitment. I am now learning only two and a half hours per day. I also dropped back to the beginner's class. It's probably at my level most of the time, sometimes a bit below, but overall I'm happy there. If I need to miss a day here or there, it's not like I walk in the next day and haven't a clue what's going on. So, the learning suffers a bit, but my overall quality of life is greatly enhanced.

And now, I'd like to do something similar with the blogging. I won't be posting every day as I was once upon a time, but I'd like to resume posting a few times a week, as the mood strikes me. Hopefully this will enhance the quality of my posts as well. So I'll see you in the blogosphere!