I need to start packing

Next week at this time, I will be in Israel. It hasn’t even sunk in yet.

The amount of clothes suggested for this 10 day trip is enough for a month for me. I’m not sure I even have 6 short-sleeved tshirts; and what would I do if I were there in the summer, where they suggest 12?!

Do people actually have that large a wardrobe?

And then I think, yes, of course, if my sister packs a 63 lb suitcase for a week at her inlaws, there are probably people with that many clothes.

Also, to bring my tallit and kippah or to not bring my tallit and kippah, that is the question. Will I have a chair thrown at me for wearing one at the Kotel? What will my OU trip organizer/Aish trip leader think?


7 thoughts on “I need to start packing

  1. I have a friend who was packing for herself and her three children for a month. She didn’t want to have to do laundry (I’m sure she ended up doing some since she was staying with her in-laws). So yes, apparently some people have an insane amount of clothing.

    If I were you I would bring the kippah and leave the tallit. Actually, I’d go get a pretty snood (not one that screams Orthodox! from a mile away) or something too if you don’t have one already.

  2. I am so excited for you!

    I echo Dena there – the tallit might be pushing it a little. Argh, I’d find it really difficult to pray if I wasn’t allowed to wear both for Shacharit.

    Have an amazing time.

    • That’s the thing. I’d probably pray in the morning, in our hotel room, so only two other people would see it. The only other time I’d be tempted to wear it in public would be at the Kotel (which belongs to ALL Jews), and depending on where they take us for Shabbat, maybe Shabbat morning services. I wouldn’t wear it in an Orthodox shul out of respect to my guests, but elsewhere is fair game in my opinion.

  3. I can’t wait to hear how the trip goes.

    And I think I’d bring both the kippah and the tallit. Heck, if you’re the tefillin-laying type, I’d bring those, too. I don’t know that I’d have the stones to wear them at the Kotel, but if you feel that you’re obligated in (or have taken on the obligation of) tallis and/or tefillin, you should bring them and use them. From a purely halachic standpoint, after all, that obligation doesn’t go away if you’ve taken it on (and that’s what you could tell anyone who asks). If I felt like my guide and/or groupmates would be weirded out and/or hostile about them, I’d put them on in the morning before leaving for the day’s activities, say the Shema and Amidah to fulfill the obligation and then go on my way to Shacharis or whatever. I agree with Samantha that it would feel really weird to daven without them. Also, the guy who picked you for the trip knew going in that you were a Conservative, egalitarian-minded convert, and I’d be surprised if the trip leader wasn’t aware of that, as well.

  4. I would bring them just in case and then reevaluate when you get there. You can never be quite sure what’ll feel right until you’re actually in the situation.

    And I know exactly what you mean about large wardrobe suggestions. Every time someone gives me a packing list for something I’m like, am I just tragically out of touch with the zeitgeist? Do people own more than three pairs of pants? I’m one of those people with hiking boots and one pair of formal shoes and that’s all.

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