Every beginning is tough, and this is no exception. It’s my first Shabbat in Durham, NC. I am home alone in a stranger’s house (she generously and graciously is letting me stay, so props for that!), and there are many unfamiliar noises I keep hearing consistently, every few minutes…as if someone is walking on the roof and someone else is rummaging through my clothes and suitcases on the floor. Paranoid much? I think so. I keep imagining that the juke-monster has traveled from Tel Aviv to North Carolina, to destroy my life (or at least, to destroy my sleeping patterns).

Shabbat #1 in the South-East:

Couldn’t find a match or a light; therefore, did not light Shabbat candles

Posted desperately on Israeli and Jewish Facebook pages of this area

Looked through pictures of family and friends from all over the world

Listened to Israeli music

Dinner was a bag of snacks (my last one… Thank G-d I brought so much for the plane). Reasons:

  1. Nobody invited me to Shabbat dinner (especially disappointing, since there are three Israelis working at my jobsite. They all know I am here alone, and didn’t think to consider me tonight…Why like this?!)
  2. There is no food in this house
  3. There is no restaurant or grocery store within walking distance
  4. I don’t have a car (yet)
  5. I literally do not know anyone here (other than my boss, and co-workers who I met yesterday) so I can’t make anyone bring me food. Or wine. Or both.

So, it could have been a lot worse, but it could have been a lot better. I am sure my next Shabbat (crossing fingers) will be better than this.

Oh and for those of you who said it’s much cheaper here… you are greatly mistaken. So far, apartment rent is only slightly less than that of LA, food is the same price, and gas is only slightly cheaper. In spite of this, my mind is not wrapped around cost. Maybe it’s because I have an MBA , which at least makes me feel bad ass.

On a brighter note, I have a new car, computer, phone, and JOB (minor details) so I know I sound like a whiny bitch, but get over it. I’m allowed every once in a while.

Furthermore, I hear that Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (The Triangle) have great live music performances. Maybe I will even get The Mowgli’s out here on their next tour.

Israel and Los Angeles, I miss your faces. Visit me?

About the author

Dr. Mishmish

MBA, MA. Have more fun. Worry less. Laugh more. Be good to yourselves & others. Grow, learn, and develop.

The greatest risk in life is not taking one.


  • Hi Michelle,
    I was wondering if my husband was still trying to contact you thru facebook. Thank you.

  • Hey Michelle – Durham is a GREAT town as are Chapel Hill and Raleigh and everywhere around there. I'm originally from nearby and have lived in all those spots at one time or another. What neighborhood are you in? Maybe I can help with some introductions and directions to a few things.

  • Here's an idea – go over to Beit El Synagogue on Watts Street and ask to speak with Rabbi Daniel Greyber – http://www.betheldurham.org/rabbi/ – he was recently living in Jerusalem and will certainly understand how you can be missing Israel!

  • These short-term financial concerns will gradually disappear under President Romney.

  • Michelle – couple of great places for shopping, wandering around, eating – Brightleaf Square (and surrounding streets) and all along Ninth Street. There's a bookstore there called "Books Do Furnish A Room" (at least, I hope it's still there) and the famous Magnolia Grill! Both of those areas are near Duke Univ.'s East Campus. I used to live on Watts Street, a couple of blocks from Beit El Synagogue (long time ago, but I'm sure it's still beautiful there).