Having spent six days in Moscow last week between my lessons in the university, I returned to Israel this Sunday, very excited at the successful meetings I had there. Without doubt this will remain in my memory as one of the most unforgettable trips I've ever made in my entire life. I visited Moscow for the first (and last) time in the summer of 2005 to participate in the conference of the European Association for Jewish Studied held there. Of course, I didn't have the slightest idea back then that there would come a day when I would revisit the city this way.
I had four very important private meetings there, and fortunately, I can say that all of them were successful. The most exciting was the one with my S/O in LDR in her native city. I'm not eloquent enough to describe this excitement of mine. Two others concerned both of us, and our initial worries about them turned out to be baseless. I am full of gratitude to НЛ for accepting me so warmly in her family and to two rabbis in the central synagogue of Moscow for their enormous help to us. And the fourth one was with my two close Jewish friends there. We had such a good time together at a local kosher Jewish restaurant that we said good-by to each other, promising to meet again in Moscow, Jerusalem, etc.
In addition to these four private meetings I was looking forward to visiting bookstores in Moscow, which is the third after Tokyo and Osaka in my personal ranking of cities in terms of the quantity and quality of their bookstores. Being a student of lexicography, I was overjoyed at the sight of so many dictionaries there. I encountered two new important monolingual dictionaries of Russian. The first, which is a single-volume dictionary for the general public and can be suitable even for learners of Russian as a foreign language, is Большой универсальный словарь русского языка (info by the publisher). And the second, which is an academic dictionary mainly for specialists, is Активный словарь русского языка (info about its prospectus by the publisher, info about its first volume by the publisher, info about its second volume by the publisher).
In addition to excitement and joy, this unforgettable private trip to Moscow has also brought me strong motivation to work harder to improve my Russian both for personal communication with certain dear people and for professional purposes in lexicography (and probably other areas of linguistics, too). But ironically, in spite of my newly kindled interest in (and even love for) Russian I spent most of my time in Moscow, speaking Yiddish, which is a story in itself and requires a separate blog entry.