Sunday, July 17, 2005

My Trip to Lakewood

Friday: 1:30 PM

I boarded a bus on Avenue J and Coney Island, heading towards Lakewood, NJ. I had money in my pocket from being paid earlier in the day by my now defunct job. I was still in high spirits since I didn't have to think anything about work until the following Monday.

The two and a half hour ride was like any other Jewish charter bus. The men on the right, the women on the left. I don' t think anyone was insulted. The weather was holding up as we pulled in to Lakewood. I got off at my stop at Foster Ave and Thirteenth St. I looked around. Quaint houses dotted the horizon. Yeshivah bachurim, yungurmen, children, women in sheitels pushing baby carriages, filled the streets. I felt a little as if I had been plucked up and placed in Yerusahalyim again. I called my dear freind whom I was suppose to meet and he pcked me up and brought me to his uncle. A note on phone services: If you have T-mobile don't expect it to work on most streets. If you are standing on one toe off a balconey under a metal pipe you might get one bar. Verizon however, has good coverage. After siting a little in my friend's uncle's house reading the Hamodia and Yated, jewish weekly newspapers, and the Hamishpocha Magazine, another friend came by in his two door caddy to take us to the beach, a twenty minute drive away. I have not had so much fun in such long time. I beshitah do not like cold. The water however looked inticing, so slowly I waded in. The sand felt good between my feet. It was a mechyeha. I even took off my bathing suit in the water to go to the Mikvah!

After our swim, we headed back to the BMG (Beis Medrash Gevoha) dorm, the Irvington, or commonly and affectionately known as the Irv. There the walls perminently reek of smoke from the many years of late night ponderings of shidduchim choices, hard kashyos, and halchos shailos and mussar sedarim thtat go on late into the wee hours of the morning. Holding my nose I rushed into the room where my friend slept and there was an empty bed for shobbos because someone has to go on a motzei shabbos shidduch. Aftre getting dressed, and showered for shobbos we headed over to Cong. Anshei Seafard, on Cliffton Ave and seventh street. All types of yeshivish, chassidish yungerman and bachurim filled the streets. It was Kollel heaven. Big payos, thick payos, beind the ear, thick Elvis sideburns, you name it they have it. Long beards, short beards, trimmed beards eevrthing you can imagine. After davening we headed to our meal.

Shabbos 8:25 am

I woke up. We headed over to the Capitol Hotel on Madison Avenue and Seventh Street. After a nice davening we walked over to Wispering Pines, a house project that was built to accomodate as many couples as possible without going insane. Basements are rented out and there is no where to park the cars, but somehow people manage. To get to the project you first must cross a busy high way called County Line Rd. Here the cars never stop zooming and the yeshivish never stop crossing. It is like krias yam suf.

It was interesting to see a project that reminded me of Har Nof or Benei Brak. All frum people and no cars on shabbos with an eruv. It was quite an experience. After our meal and davening Mincha I slept until 8:20 pm like a normal yeshivah bachur, and ate suedah slishis. Motzei Shabbos I went swimming in a pool and then headed over to the main BM on Seventh Street between Forest and Lexington. Between these two streets is this massive uilding that greets you like an oasis in a dessert. The building is massive. This is only one of many. Inside are hundreds of rooms with hundreds of shtenders and chairs. People walk in and out 24/7. The walls reverberate with the Kol Torah at all hours of the night. This makom is a hotbed for the newest reid and the brightest and smartest gemarah kups in America if not the whole world. After walking around the buildings and marveling and the beauty, we headed back to the dorm.

Sunday 8:30 am
We went to daven Shachris in a small shteibel on Madison Ave. and Eigth Street. Then we headed over to the main bulding to eat breakfast. They served eggs, soft and hard, bread, cahllah, cereal, jam, margarine, peanut butter, oatmeal, orange juice, bekitzur a real feast. then it was time to go and learn. I went downstairs in to one of the many massive rooms and sat by a shtender. The noise of Torah was musci to my ears. Hundred of people were discussing at the top of their lungs lumdus and were in high heaven.

Of course after that Ihad to go meet the shadchanim of Leakwood. There are two official Shadchanim. I only had the zechus of meeting one. He is a very with it person, younge, cool , calm, collected and a sharp eye. He could read a bachur by just seeing his yalmulka. (Jk, I don't know what he thinks, but I have heard he has made over 150 shidduchim in seven years). Any girl who wants the best in Lakewood goes to these shaddchanim. I spoke with him and he took my number. I felt honored.

While waiting for the bus which was going to leave at 4:00 pm, I took a walk down Cliffton Ave to the center of Historic Lakewood est 1892. There I walked to Pizza Plus and had two slices of pizza. Walking balk to the Irv, to pick up my belongings on my right I passed the Cliffton Grade school and the Little League Park. With Beis Shalom looming behind me I walked towards Forest and ninth too pick up the bus. My stay in Lakewood had ended. Do I regret not going to learn there? A little, there is always that nagging feeling like maybe I could have become a better person if I would learn in such a makom ha torah. But there is that feeling that says I wouldn't have enjoyed it it is not for me I am not on such a madregah to learn 24/7.


Blogger survivor said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend...
Just so you know, I'm on my way to go shluffy, this was my bedtime story. :-)

10:49 PM  
Blogger Lvnsm27 said...

very nice

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Chana said...

It sounds like you had a very wonderful time. Interesting that you speak of being honored because of the shadchan being willing to meet with you. Although I understand what you mean there, I personally consider honor in different terms. I'm honored when someone will trust me/ confide in me/ tell me a truth that obviously means a lot to them. I just thought that was an intriguing idea...I will definitely not be a shadchan/ shadchanit type of person (I'm 16, by the way *smiles*) I suppose I'll simply walk into a cafe and bump into people... *more smiles*

2:23 PM  
Blogger EN said...

Chana- actually I agree with you. I dont go for shadchanim. However I have been trying your suggestion for many a year and have not had any sucessful results. I think though, for a girl it can work. *wink* good luck.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Semgirl said...

Glad you enjoyed Lw. Hope Zukes reds you someone nice.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"I will definitely not be a shadchan/ shadchanit type of person"

You will be if G-d chooses you to be his messenger! ;)

1:24 AM  

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