The First Year of Marriage

I missed our first wedding anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the first year of our marriage. I use this season in the Jewish calendar as a no less good opportunity to do so.

If I have to summarize this year in a single sentence, I would say that I've learning more during this period than in any other time in my life. This is not because everything has been easy but precisely because we've experienced a number of hardships living together, including crises of divorce.

This has also been a year of self search and spiritual awakening for me. Our married life has been hampered by the worsening state of my OCPD. But paradoxically my struggle with this psychological disorder of mine and search for ways to alleviate it have lead me to unexpected discoveries about myself, including my unconscious thoughts and suppressed emotions, and one ingenious method to liberate myself from their tyranny and align myself with my soul.

It's Joey Klein's Conscious Transformation. I don't remember how I stumbled upon his book entitled The Inner Matrix, but it's the most profound and well devised practical guide to the transformation of ourselves in the most fundamental and systematic way I've ever encountered and learned. My wife, whom I strongly recommended this book, has become no less impressed with his teaching, so that after reading this book twice, we have decided to pursue it further by joining one of the Inner Matrix Groups facilitated by one of Joey Klein's apprentices and taking four series of his audio courses called Mental Mastery, Emotional Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Spiritual Mastery. The order of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual is important. My wife and I are thinking of starting our own Inner Matrix Groups here in Jerusalem after our study has made sufficient progress.

Clearly realizing how I would like to spend the rest of my life is the no less significant fruits of this period in my life. This will involve a most fundamental change in my life. I'm starting to take the first step soon toward this change. I can vividly vision myself both in its process and after its end.


International Summer School on Typology and Lexicon in Moscow

From last Friday until this morning I participated with my wife in the International Summer School on Typology and Lexicon in Moscow. I can summarize it as one of the most unforgettable academic events I've ever attended so far. I don't specialize in linguistic typology, but I've decided to participate in this summer school as a student, thinking and hoping to learn from lexical typologists what might also be relevant to lexicography. I was not only right but the event was much more than I had expected.

What has made it special is not only the high standard of many courses by a number of leading linguists in the field but the fact we participants, both teachers and students, spent a whole week under the same roof. After the end of the official program each day we could discuss on linguistic and other issues and socialize with each other through various social events or just by sitting together in the evening. Having volunteered to organize a traditional Ashkenazi dance master-shmaster class spontaneously as one of such social events in the evening, I may be remembered as a dancer rather than as a linguist. ;-)

What has impressed me more than everything else was the fact that those who participated as students in this summer school, the majority of who were also students in the School of Linguistics at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow and presented posters, were in such high academic standard, and several of them also organized this event. Unfortunately, their Israeli counterparts I have known are mostly far more passive in initiating and organizing academic events.

I also felt so sorry for average Israeli students as they have no chance, unlike, for example, in Russia and Japan, to socialize with other students and their teachers outside the classroom. This experience of attending this summer school has convinced me again the importance of such socialization for academic inspiration.

During this summer school I also remembered that when I taught Japanese as a foreign language back in Japan to students specializing in Japanese from various countries, I felt closer to those from Russia than those from any other country, even including Israel. This time I could only teach some of them traditional Ashkenazi dance in a non-academic setting, but I really enjoyed this experience. They have reminded me that teaching could be so enjoyable. This is the kind of feeling I've unfortunately come to forget in Israel slowly but surely. I'm very curious to teach something academic here in Russia to see how I'll feel then.


Israel Seen from Outside

Since this Tuesday I've been in Moscow. I came here to participate with my Moscow-born wife in an international summer school on typology and lexicon to start here today.

I don't think I have to confess explicitly that I have a very hard time getting along in Israel socioculturally, especially with one of its main sociocultural sectors. For this reason it occurred to me more than once to leave Israel, even for Japan and Russia. But having spent several days in Moscow again, which I like very much mainly because of its culture and civilized citizens, at least compared to their Israeli counterparts, I've been feeling that in spite of everything I still feel far more comfortable in Israel, which is a fresh and big revelation for me.

Every time I visited Moscow, including this one, since I met my wife, she accompanied me and spared me all the possible troubles a typical tourist here might have experienced. I've also realized that not only my practical knowledge of Russian but also my sociocultural literacy of Russia is insufficient to even start noticing sociocultural problems here. In short, I feel here as if I were a baby protected by his mother, if not by his grandmother.

I had to come to my beloved Moscow again to finally understand that after everything is said and done, I even feel more comfortable in Israel than in any other country simply because I feel at home in Hebrew than in any other language and am familiar enough with all the sociocultural problems of Israel than those of any other country.

I like Moscow very much and have been looking forward to this visit for quite some time. But nevertheless I find myself missing Jerusalem, our new apartment and our community there.