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Average White Girl in Tel Aviv

Two yogis meet in India...

Jade is an extraordinary woman who I met at Ulpan Bayit. The first time I saw her I noticed an incredible lightness about her. Next, was her terrible Hebrew accent. She unabashedly spoke Hebrew to our teacher right away.

Please note, my hebrew is chara (shit), so I was thoroughly impressed by Jade's willingness to just go for it, imperfection and all. Shortly, after we all went around the class and said where we were from, our profession, and why we were taking the class.

Jade is originally from Scottland, is a yoga teacher, and has lived in Tel Aviv for 5 years.

How has she lived in Israel for 5 years and still not speak Hebrew?

This is a natural response. I thought she was badass. She is married to an Israeli, and has managed to live in Israel this whole time without speaking fluent Hebrew. KOL HA-KAVOD! (All the respect)

Yoga fist, Hebrew second

For me, learning Hebrew has been somewhat of a chore. I know learning it can only help me, but the mere fact that it is something I should do, has created an inner resistance. It is like going to primary school as an adolescent, you don't want to.

I admired Jade for not doing what was expected of her and learning Hebrew right away. I later found out that she did try when she first moved here, but it became overwhelming. Imagine, a new life, a new family, everything is new, oh and now it's time to learn a new language. Some underestimate what a huge adjustment this is. Additionally, Jade is not Jewish, so unlike many of us who were privileged to make Aliyah, she did not receive help from the government. Instead Jade focused on making money and becoming a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, which is about a 5 year process. She was taking care of herself and that's something I hope to learn from her.


Here's a little bit of background information on Jade. She left Scotland 13 years ago, thinking she would be back in a few months. She went to Japan for a few years, traveled in India for a year, went back to Japan, then back to India again, and now she's in Israel.

That last time she was in India is when she met her husband, Yaniv. She was taking an intensive Iyengar Yoga course in Rishikish with a well known practitioner of Iyengar yoga. She said there were people from all over the world in that class, but for some reason half of the class was Israeli. She said they were such dedicated practitioners and really admired them. The day she met Yaniv, he was a few mats in front of her and she said , "there was something about him that was so alive and happy." The got to know one another quickly, they ate every meal together, practiced together, almost everything they did together for 7 weeks. They would talk about everything, they joked about getting married. Then Yaniv actually asked and Jade said, "Okay lets do this!"

Neither of them had met one another's parents yet. Their parents didn't even know they were seeing anyone. Isn't that a nice first introduction?

"Hi Ima, Hi Aba, this is Jade, and we're getting married."

Jade admitted her Mom was excited for her, but also concerned that Yaniv might put her love of shellfish in jeopardy. Of course, Jade reassured her Mom, that he would not stop her from eating shellfish.

After being together 7 weeks they parted ways. Jade went to Thailand and Yaniv went home to Israel. I asked her if she questioned things at that time. She replied, "We just knew we wanted to be together, that we really loved each other, and it was something we both couldn't really explain. I really feel like it has something to do with the magic of India, and the magic of that time in our life being so immersed in yoga and meditation. Everything felt very pure."

She said one time they were on the phone for 7 hours. She was in a coffeeshop in Thailand, drinking beers and he was home at his parents, on the computer all day.

Jade explained, "These are the things that keep us together. The specialness of the beginning. We see one another at our best, we see with clearer, more accepting eyes- we see our futures... Maybe the ones we wanted, but never thought were possible. "

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