Iphobia. You know what it is. It’s the sinking sensation in your stomach when you walk into a classroom and 200 students are staring down at little screens. It’s talking to someone in person and being interrupted by incessant little buzzes reminding them how popular they are. And it’s knowing that unless I want to be a self-righteous-friendless-loser, I will have to join the game, and get a smartphone too.

Yes, I could stick to my ideals and be strong-willed and just not get one. But I am more selfish than idealistic, I don’t want to always be the last one to know what’s going on, to be left out of conversations and to sit in traffic because I don’t have Waze.

Of course, most of the bad things about not owning a smartphone are in fact the good things. I still work on my sense of direction and if I am completely lost I am forced to roll down the window and ask the other driver. It takes too long to text someone who has WhatsApp (by the time I’ve punched the buttons enough times to get to the right letter, they’ve already sent a new message, and then I have to exit the message I’m writing so I can see what they said), so I just give up texting altogether and call the other person, who is usually pretty taken aback by the sound of a human voice.

But who am I kidding? I’m a student. I am on the computer all day, only I waste my life in front of a big screen while everyone else wastes it in front of little screens. My attention span, like everyone else’s, is getting shorter as my inbox gets longer. I, too, look at pictures of people whose names I can’t remember and I too convince myself that all of this horrifyingly isolating technology is actually connecting me with more people. I can come up with a list of excuses why I should get a smartphone. But like every stupid thing we do, the reason is probably just because it’s there. So, world, I have come to terms with my fate and am ideologically willing to accept a smartphone.

So, uh… you can just have it shipped to my house.

Non-Feminist Women’s Day

When some girls at the university tried to get me involved in a women’s advancement group, I didn’t even give them my email. “Women” has never seemed like a cause for me, just like I’d never join a “tall-people-club”.

But a panel I went to in honor of women’s day changed my perceptions, if only slightly. It was part of a broader plan To Maintain My Sanity While in Law School (which basically consists of saying “yes” to events instead of my standard “no”).


This is the part where you’re either going to stop reading because you hate feminists or will continue, because you love them. Disclosure: I have never called myself a feminist. I shave my armpits. I tell chauvinist jokes. With two older brothers who constantly make fun of my vegetarianism, naiveté and liberalist views, feminism always seemed like a little too much.

But these women not the usual, “go get ’em” girls cheering us to pursue our dreams. Adina Bar Shalom established the first college for charedi women. When she was six, she demanded to know why she had to clean the dishes and not her brothers. They were studying Torah, was the answer. When she protested, her father told her that one day she’d understand. She looked at us with a smile and shook her head, “I still don’t understand.”

Today, she gives hundreds of women the opportunity to study and learn and escape, if only momentarily, from an all-encompassing cycle of child-bearing and house-keeping

Lihi Lapid asked us why we have “career women” and not “career men”. A working woman is doing something radical (and of course, if her children have learning disabilities, the world will blame her). A man is just doing what men do.

When she was in charge of the Women’s section in the newspaper, Lapid filled it with different topics of interest. Her boss told her to include a recipe. She objected with a passion. “I can’t cook! I burn salad! Why does every women’s section need to have a recipe”?! But there would be recipe, or there would be no Lapid. “But,” she shared slyly, “even though the whole section was written in the female form (Hebrew is like French in that sense) – the recipe was written in the male form.”

Dalia Dorner, who was a Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel, presented a long list of women’s rights legislation. “But the reality,” she said, “is a different story.” She was a part of the famous Alice Miller trial, and is partly to thank for there being women in the Israeli Air Force.

In a biography she’d read recently, the woman was asked how one could know that full equality had been achieved. “When mediocre women and below will have key roles in society – then we will have achieved equality,” she answered.

We aren’t there yet. Nor do I think “women” will be high on my list of causes in the near future. But more than before, I realize that that is a privilege. I don’t fight for women’s rights because so many already did, before me and for me. What feminism needs is for the word itself to disappear – not because of people like me who are too afraid to use it, but because the world won’t need it.

Why Skiing is Better Than Law School

4 of us mountain

Need I say more?

matan me mountain

This is what you look like after three days of eating Swiss cheese, chocolate and meusli...

This is what you look like after three days of eating Swiss cheese, chocolate and meusli…

Possibly the most unrealistic looking push-off-the-cliff picture, but check out the background!

Possibly the most unrealistic looking push-off-the-cliff picture, but check out the background!

Dov and me being cool, Matan with his new friend

Dov and me being cool, Matan with his new friend

Yeah, but law school is fun, too – you get to read cases about people you don’t care about and see how people can write utter bullshit but get away with it because nobody understands what they’re saying! Just think about it – you have more boring things to read than you could ever have dreamt of! You can discuss the placement of a hyphen for three hours! You can have no friends! You can have a favorite spot in the library because you actually tried them all. You can look at all your anthropology-learning, meaning-of-life-pondering, party-going friends and say “Ha! You’re having fun now, but in three and a half years when I get my degree… I will still be more miserable than you!”

Okay, it’s not [always] that bad…

But skiing in Switzerland is just a tiny bit better.  

I haven’t blogged in months, so short intro: I went to Africa for a few months after the army and blogged about it and then I got upgraded to Aspen, Colorado and wrote about that, and just when I thought life could get no better, I started law school and never saw the light of day again. I stopped writing, which was probably a good idea, considering the most exciting thing that’s happened to me lately is getting caught sneaking a coffee into the library.

But now I am in Switzerland, pajama-wearing-exam-period is behind me and next semester is far, far away… in Tuesday-land…

Day one was what you might think of when you think of a family trip:

Pressure! How much did you pack?! It’s already 11:02! We’ve GOT to go!

Very mature and responsible me: “Did you guys take my passport?”

Yes.” (this will be important for later).

Again: “You definitely have my passport?”

“Yes! Let’s go!”

Night: Discussing today's new words: Ausfahrt. Placenta. Dog.

Night: Discussing today’s new words: Ausfahrt. Placenta. Dog.

We go. We are way too many twenty-something year-olds sitting in the backseat, but regardless, Mom has packed an enormous bag of food for the plane. By the time we reach the airport I think one granola bar is left. I think about how great it is to travel with your parents: you don’t have to think about anything and everything is paid for.

As we’re making fun of something we probably shouldn’t be making fun of, Dad says, “Okay, now seriously. I want everyone to think”- quiet – “about what they can take out of their bags. Everyone packed way too much stuff.”

So we take out all of our bags and stand around thinking about whether anyone has a sock or two he can live without. Hmm… Nope. Dad, of course (this is the man who can spend an afternoon squeezing one ketchup bottle into another. The man who sees consolidation as an act of worship.) finds a watch that can go back (yes, watches take up a lot of space) and the whole bus waits for him to run back to the car.

We get off the elevator – wrong floor. We keep following the leader – wrong terminal. I begin to wonder if blindly following your parents is actually a wise thing to do. I receive an answer when we get to security.

Everyone’s name is called as each passport bearer smiles to the woman. Okay, that’s everyone, right? Hmm… Danya. Danya, where’s your passport?

I glare. “You know I don’t have it,” I say. “I asked you twice this morning…” and then we play the blame game for a few more seconds, stare stupidly into space for a few more seconds and then look a little harder. Nope. No passport. (But just think how much space we saved!)

Realizing I may not go to Switzerland. Look at Dad in the background

Realizing I may not go to Switzerland. Look at Dad in the background

Pressure, running, phone calls, “this is the FINAL call for flight…” We’re on!

And then we’re off, we walk out to the freezing Basel air and pile into the too-small car with bags on our laps and under our feet and in between us. Everyone thinks very hard about that sock they should have gotten rid of. With every inhalation there is less air for the others to breathe. Dov farts.

And once again, we are bratty little kids in the backseat. Someone hits someone and we’re all laughing, Matan says something about a headache and Mom immediately tells him he had too much sugar today and blames Dad for letting him and Dad steps on the gas because we have to make it to the train by 20:30, it’s what we planned our whole day around and obviously we have to stop for dinner (meal number 35 that day) and miss the train. But we still get nearly killed trying to make it.

Me, very near my breaking point

Me, very near my breaking point

After we all put on every possible layer of clothing we have (except Matan:”You’re going to freeze to death! Where’s your in-between-your-nose-and-lip-warmer?!”) we make it to the train, from there we take a shuttle to the hotel (followed by a boat, a spaceship and a teletransporter) and three years later I am in my bed in the hotel and I fall asleep.

But once we finally got on the slopes (that is, after a five course meal, trying on all our clothes and everybody else’s, renting equipment, making a plan, planning our plan-making and staring stupidly into space), it was stunning and white and we skied all over and I had an amazing time – as did my toes, at about 16:47 when I took them out of those boots.