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Next year in jerusalem

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Dear Maggie,  
I think you are really ready for a decent relationship.  You know I had mixed feelings about your ex.  You didn't tell me everything in the beginning, but once I realized that he always put you down and belittled you, I begged you to leave.  You just weren't ready.  I understand.  But now you are free of him and you are ready for that perfect someone.  Maybe Gary is that person.  I like what you are telling me about him.  But just remember that you haven't been free all that long and just started to date.  Maybe there will be other men who interest you also.  Psychologists always recommend not committing to a new relationship for at least a year after divorcing.  Of course, I'll love you no matter what you do. 
I feel in some ways like I am living out Eat, Pray, Love here in Jerusalem.  I'm eating the most amazing food and exploring an unbelievable city at the same time.  And the lovemaking hasn't been bad either.  At least when David is around.  He is awfully busy.  That leaves me on my own to wander.  The old city is the most fascinating part of the city, I think.  Once you walk into the different sections you are in these endless alleyways that have to be hundreds of years old.  They are bazaar areas where goods of every kind are being sold.  I fell in love with the smells, the fabrics, the jewelry, the foods, even the bags of spices.  I can't wait to bring you adventuring with me.  Take a look at my pictures!  I'm so glad you will be here in a few days.  I can't stand to see all of this without you. 
Jerusalem Alley
Jerusalem Bazaar - Next Year in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Bazaar - Next Year in Jerusalem

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Dear Natalie, 

Eat, Pray, Love, Next year in Jerusalem

Tzfat sounds fabulous.  I never got to go when I was in Israel.  Maybe we will go together!  I really want to see that 'angel' with the head scarf and buy some of her jewelry.  It is so amazing that you're talking about Eat, Pray, Love.  The other night Gary and I were snuggling on the living room couch and guess what was on one of the cable stations?  Right, Eat, Pray, Love.  We sat there like teenagers, eating buttered popcorn out of a giant bowl and watching it.  Gary thought some of it was just too beyond for his tastes.  He has no interest in deep meditation or finding a way to embrace the universe by sitting in some strange place in India or wherever, while you try to get to the center of the universe.  But we both loved all the scenes in Italy and of course, the love story in the end.  Actually, we more than loved the ending when they got so romantic.  We moved from the living room to the bedroom and I guess you can guess the rest!
I'll really miss Gary when I come to see you in Jerusalem.  It is so refreshing to have a guy in my life who is so normal and thinks I'm great.  I can hardly believe it.  My therapist said I'm ready for a great relationship.  She said I have really worked at having a strong, loving relationship with myself and that is the major first step.
How is David?  What else are you doing? 
See you soon! 

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Dear Natalie,

I bought my plane tickets today. I told Gary that I'm going to Israel. He was actually excited for me. He said that he will miss me, but he wouldn't want me to miss such a great opportunity. I was shocked and quite touched. I am still so used to my decisions being trivialized by my ex. Often, when I would tell him about something good for me that I had finally decided to do, like taking my first interior design course, he would repeat one of his favorite sayings: "That and a dollar bill will get you a cup of coffee." What kept me with him for so long?

Don't bother to answer that question. Thank G-d I finally had the courage to go it alone. Well, I am not quite alone. Gary is wonderful. Did I tell you that he has received awards as a detective? He has solved 'cold' cases. I guess his most famous case was the murder in White Plains about 20 years ago of an elderly couple in their apartment. Do you remember? The case was on the local New York news last year. Gary was the detective. I'll tell you the details when we are together.

I can't wait until we are together. Make sure you don't go to meet that mystery woman again until I get there. I don't want to miss any possible adventures. Just stay busy shopping and seeing museums.

Gary and I went to the Bronx Zoo and saw the Panda Bears. Isn't this one cute?

Love, Maggie

Maggie Gets Ready to Join Natalie in Israel

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Dear Maggie,

Today I went to Tzfat. It is the most magical town. I took a bus tour by myself as David was super busy with meetings. Actually, there were 10 of us in a van with a guide. It was so interesting because on the ride down and the ride back the guide told us so much other stuff about living in Israel. Uri (that's his name) was an older man, about 65. He came to Israel when he was a little boy. His parents left Germany in time. He fought in several of the wars, including the Yom Kippur War in l973. He told us all about it. His best friend lost an eye in that war, but the medical care and the rehabilitation were so good, that he went on to a full life and even stayed serving in the army. Everyone, at least the men, serve and then can be called up until like they are 53. Those who refuse to fight, such as pacifists, get other jobs. One job is picking up all the remains and body parts if a bomb goes off or there is a shooting. Can you imagine? Everything about a human being is considered sacred, even a lost limb.

Well, on to the town. It is up high on a hillside and supposed to be one of the most mystical places in Israel, maybe the world. The elevation is about 3000 feet. Since the 16th century it has been considered one of Judaism's Holy Cities. That's because the mystic part of Judiasm was developed here. You know, Kabbalah. Do you know anything about Kabbalah? I don't but I'd like to. As soon as we started walking around I felt different. I felt so pure in the town. The air was so clear and I could just imagine people praying and getting closer and closer to God, like in Eat, Pray Love, when Elizabeth Gilbert got to India and finally got closer to the essence of it all. We must come back when you get here.

I bought some great jewelry in Tzfat also. A necklace, earrings to match and a bracelet. There were all created by this beautiful girl that looks like an angel except she wears a headscarf instead of a halo. Here are pictures!

Love, Natalie

Next Year in Jerusalem Tzfat The Holy City

Next Year In Jerusalem - Live, Live, Pray

Next Year in Jerusalem - Tzfat The Holy City

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Dear Maggie,

Thanks for the support about being intact spiritually. However, I still think I am missing something that these other people at the Western Wall know about. I know once you are here we will figure it out.

Tell me more about Gary. I want to know everything. Well, almost everything!

There is nothing new to tell you about David. All is the same. He is busy. He loves every minute of being a guest professor! He is up at dawn. He leaves. He comes back to pick me up for dinner or not, depending on the evening events. That's it. Tell me, did I ever think that David was exciting? I can't remember. Mmmm. Is Gary exciting? I want to know more. Don't get me wrong. David is a good man and a good husband and a good father. It is just that he is so predictable.

Maybe I am just lonely. Once you get here all will change. We will have such fun: shopping and going to museums and going down to the Dead Sea, floating for hours and getting massages and who knows, maybe we will have an adventure!

Remember in college when we decided we would have an adventure and that we would follow the most interesting person we saw in Copley Square for at least an hour? We couldn't decide who to follow. You wanted to follow the beautiful tall thin girl that looked like a dancer, with loose blond hair flowing down to her waist. I wanted to follow the man with the giant mustache carrying a strange black briefcase. But we wanted to stay together for our adventure. Finally, we gave up on a decision and went to Brigham's for ice cream. We never knew what happened to either person.

Did you ever wonder why some people have exciting adventures and other people seem to have flat, boring lives? Maybe it is because the people with boring lives don't see an adventure when it comes right up to them? Maybe adventurous people are always looking out of the corner of their eyes for an adventure?

What do you think?

I'm going to look out of the corner of my eyes from now on and not miss a thing. Maybe I will find an adventure for both of us. Maybe something fascinating is about to happen. I'm sending you a picture of downtown Jerusalem at night. Actually it is a picture of a side street that looks like a dark alley. I bet a lot of mysterious adventures could happen down an alley like this!

Love, Natalie.

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