Friday, February 24, 2012

My First MohoPDX Blog

I moved out to Portland in the beginning of August 2011. I did not know what to expect nor was to be in stored.
I had just been laid off of work 72 hrs prior, driving up from Los Angeles CA. A packed 2 Door, 94' Rav4, my Fender Deluxe in the back seat, and my 2 yr. old pup in the front to keep me company.
I have been to almost all 50 states and yet to (at least remember) visit Portland (or Florida).
Moving in the end of the summer time, which from what I understand started very late, was very exciting to be able to see Portland in all its full glory.
The deep forest greens, the bright blues skys, all the fruit and flowers, everywhere. . . wild herbs and berries and nuts, growing around practically every little neighborhood. I highly recommend, if you are deciding to move to Portland, choose the summer time to do it (and I do highly recommend everyone to move out to this wonderful slice of paradise).

I have never lived in a Moishe House before, I was coming from living with my younger brother and our roommate. We all were working, paying bills, playing music and being with family..you know, living life.

(I actually found out about Moishe House about two years prior, when it was out in Mar Vista, CA. I had visited once, which my sister-in-laws sister brought me to. It was great but everyone was about 10 yrs older and just at different stages of their lives)
When I had started to get more into Moishe House, my really good friend told me about an open mic and the new located Moishe House in LA, pretty close to where we were living at the time. We decided to go check it out and brought a couple of guitars. It was great, we met Moishe House members our own age and made some great music that night. Thats where I met my now roommate, Jonathan Morgan and Julie Auerbach (which in meeting people, you can tend to get a feeling like you have known them forever or from a previous time, thats what I have been getting with all of my roommates now, actually. I had been in acquaintance out in LA with my third roommate, Emly Oren, but it was only until I got to Portland that we had a conversation and got to know each other, also, feeling like we've have known each other since forever).

Now, I have only been to a hand full of actual Moishe House events out in LA but in meeting Jon, we kept in touch and really, got to know each other better with going to live music (specifically open blues jam nights - in particular - Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Tarzana - Every Mon night, awesome music! just Awesome!).
One night, I had came late to an event, people were slowly leaving, and I was talking with Jon in the backyard. It was talking about how I do not want to be in Los Angeles anymore, dealing with the hustle/bustle, the smog, the traffic. . .blehh
He tells me about how he might be transferring to a Moishe House in ...Portland OR.
He tells me that he might be keeping a couple of people in mind if they would be interested in moving out and helping with a house out there.
I tell him to keep me in mind but that my life is pretty hectic with work and family.
I have to thank him for staying on top of getting back to me and with his reminders. . . excellent! Thank you my friend.
I remember when he actually made the move and would send me pictures of PDX and info on the city, telling me how wonderful it is and how it is something else, something completely not LA.
I felt as if, every time my life was getting more and more hectic, I would receive an email, text, and/or phone call reminding me about this..almost mystical place, Portland OR. !

Again, I had never lived in a Moishe House before but I feel as if life has prepared me to be able to be in the position I am currently in, a Moishe House member.
Growing up, we would have so many people in and out, all the time!
From borders to couch surfers, to children from broken homes to people who just felt lost and needed a place to sleep, I remember my parents accepting anyone and everyone that was looking for a place to be able to feel at home, even for a night.
I feel as if Moishe House is a wonderfully beautiful conduit in which to be able to help grow, teach and inspire the young Jewish community, anywhere and everywhere. In hosting events, I believe it is a way to get people attracted and involved, what we are really doing though is something so much more than that. Besides building community, I believe that each Jew we each come in contact with, in all of our Moishe House experiences (and I am talking about each house member, their own particular experiences and people they come in contact with), is one of the biggest gifts we can be given, we are able to connect and help to create that ignition of spark, that jewish spark within each of us. To be able to excite that spark and bring more light into the world is part of what Judaism is all about! I believe we are preparing the world for the Messiah! We are in these days!

So when life had calmed down a bit, and work had allowed me to move up to Portland, giving me the green light to work from home. I was definitely taken aback when the Thursday before I was leaving I get a letter of termination due to cut backs.
It was a very difficult and frustrating experience in dealing with work for the next couple of months. In short, I am now on unemployment, working side jobs to pay the rent and bills. I look at it as probably the best opportunity I have been given, I have been praying to be able to have more time to work on Music, I play the guitar and it is my first love. To be abe to have more time in the day to dedicate to writing and composing is something that is dear to my heart and I thank GOD for. Currently, I have been able to be given opportunities such as being a man nanny for two Jewish families in the community here in Portland, helping with hebrew school substituting every now and then, and with the local kosher catering company every so often. I believe though, that each step that has gotten me to where I am now has been and will keep coming from GOD. (Thank You!)

As for Portland, It is a place where I do keep falling in love with each day, there is something new and exciting. Meeting the wonderful people out here and being able to help with the young Jewish community is something that I find extremely enjoyable, to be able to be in a magical city, just makes it that much more enjoyable!

I look forward to blogging with you in the future and sharing stories of Divine Providence and non-coincidental occurrences, out here from the Great Pacific NW.

If you are every in Portland, please feel free to contact us and come see our house and participate in an events!

All the best, GOD Bless and be well.

Regards,

Yossi Shallman

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