French Israel

Monday, February 16, 2004

Some preliminary business first. You are witnessing the launch of version 2.0 of this selfsame blog at this selfsame address, which is a rewriting of the first version, mutatis mutandis.

In plain English, this is the story. A few months ago I began publishing a Blog both about discovering Israel and about leaving behind my life in America. The story began properly in June, as that was the time of my first exploratory visit, and continued (as these things tend to do) up to the present. And since I wanted to tell the story properly, I dated the posts according to the timeline. As I began building the blog, I culled some notes, journal entries, newsy e-mails written to family, and more newsy e-mails written to friends (with the gory details added), and filed them under their original dates.

Seen in their proper perspective, some things began to make more sense. It took a while. I found photos to match the text, and it turned into a marvellous adventure in narration. It had only one minor, but fatal flaw:

It was very unlikely that someone was going to read all those archived postings.

And as the weeks passed and as I plugged in the chronologically correct story, life went on. And as it did, a situation developed. I euphemistically call it a "situation", but it is in reality a much bigger. It could be compared, as the saying goes, to a splinter in my mind. It continues today, which is why I persist.

Describing how this situation came about, what were all the clues leading up to it and what were its consequences, seemed to be the first step in solving it.

But that's me, not you. The problem was with you; you were probably not going to pick through the swine mud looking for pearls. After all, that's the nature of the Blog. You want to see what's happening most recently, not dig up so many past articles in hopes of constructing a coherent three-dimensional picture.

Not to mention that elaborating on the story from with seven to eight months of hindsight borders on being disingenuous. But that was the least of my worries. If you keep reading you will perhaps understand.

The story developed more quickly than I could tell it. (And don't forget that I was doing this while trying to maintain a yeshiva study schedule.) Before the blog was officially announced, the project was getting out of hand, compounded by the relentless forward movement of time.

It seemed there was little I could about that. So I took an executive decision this weekend to start from scratch. Okay, not quite from scratch, but from this date. The story will be told afresh, with occasional flashbacks to old posts. (The template had to be changed after I discovered that the one I was borrowing from Blogger was also used by a widely read blog written by a call girl, under the name of a film with Catherine Deneuve playing a similar character. I shall not be providing a link to that site, but if you are curious enough you can find it yourself.)

Otherwise, my plan is to keep you informed about what's going on in Israel, specifically in Jerusalem, and about my transition from university studies and life in Athens and Atlanta, Georgia, to a life of yeshiva studies and full-fledged Judaism here in the center of the world. I'm a relative newcomer here, and I realise the reader may have had much more experience with this environment -- or, on the contrary, find this life thoroughly bizarre -- so I invite your e-mails. The address is at the end of postings or in list of links in the right-hand column.
PinḼas Ivri 19:30


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