Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mornings With Bubbes

Today was my first day at Yad L'Kashish. I got there on time at 8:30am, and was taken to the Embroidery and Weaving workshop. The head of the workshop is named Anat. For some reason, she reminds me a lot of someone I know, but I can't quite place her. Her second in command is a very pregant woman named Yulia. Everyone in this workshop is female. The men seem go for metalwork and book binding.

I was handed over to one of the workers, an Israeli named Orit. she started to teach me how to embroider. I had a piece of white cloth with straight lines drawn on with a pencil and ruler, a needle, and some lime green thread. My job: emroider straight lines. After I mastered that, I was set to the task of embroidering straight lines with smaller stitches. Then I learned how to make little round daisies (still using lime green thread). My first attempts weren't exactly circular, but my fifth attempt was perfect. This meant that I was ready for a real project. I'm now in the middle of embroidering a mezzuzah case. So far it just involves embroidering black lines. Later I'll get to fill in spaces with colors. Who knows? Maybe, eventually I'll be able to embroider tallaisim, like Esther and Orit, using gold and silver thread on ivory colored silk. At least I have something to aspire to.

Pretty much, I get to sit and embroider with smeet little old ladies all morning. Actually, Orit doesn't seem like she's over 45, but the others are ancient. Here are my two favorite moments from Day One:

1) Miriam, who's hard of hearing and knits something blue all morning, learning my name and immediately asking, "Are you married?" (All in Hebrew...I don't speak English there. They call me Naama, since Cara is too difficult for Israelis) When I respond in the negative, she replies without hesitation, "May Hashem soon send you a mazel tov."
2) A little old lady, whose name I didn't learn and who appears to be about 92,000 years old, coming into our workhop to lead us in 10 minutes of arm and leg exercises. She's just too cute for words.

After one day, I really like this internship.

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