Day 7 from Israel

So I pulled the lot of documenting day 7. Now one might think that a journal about Shabbat would necessarily be short- light candles, go to shul, eat dinner, go to sleep, go to shul, eat lunch, go to sleep, make havdalah, eat. But how much fun would that be? No pictures though- Shabbat!

Anyway, here goes….

Shabbat in Jerusalem. I mean, where else, really? For me, there is something special about spending Shabbat in Jerusalem, the center of our people’s worship. On Friday afternoon, we visited Machane Yehuda, as Dottie talked about, and it was of course packed to the gills with shoppers readying themselves for Shabbat. By the time the candles were to be lit, Jerusalem had calmed significantly. A fascinating juxtaposition from fever pitch to tranquility.

Our group gathered together in the lobby of the Dan Boutique hotel to light candles and usher in Shabbat. Many of us then walked to Shira Hadasha on Emek Refaim for Kabbalat Shabbat. I like to think of Shira like Shira Hadasha for the communal singing, athough most of the congregation was at Ein Gedi for a shabbaton. Danny warned us of a sparse turnout, which turned out to be prophetic; only a hundred people were at services. As in literally 100 (or 96 or 103- I didn’t have an exact count). I would love such a sparse gathering! And of course the davening was nice (and quick!).

We returned to the hotel for Shabbat dinner, where Barry Rosekind and two of his friends joined us. Barry, as most know, is a Hayal Boded, or Lone Soldier, assigned to Iron Dome. The Israeli military – Iron Dome is part of the Air Force – is interesting in that many of its active duty forces go home on Thursday for Shabbat, and return to base on Sunday. It certainly saves on the laundry bill on base. In any event, it was great to see Barry again; what he has committed to is indescribably courageous and dedicated.

I had decided that I would return to Shira Hadasha on Shabbat morning unless sleep prevailed. Confidentially, I was hoping that I might be able to catch up on some much-needed shluf. So of course I woke up at 7:10. {sigh} Glad I went though- I enjoy services, although needless to say, there is no triennial reading, and with a double portion, a very long Maftir for Shabbat Parah, and a two-Torah day, Joe Gruber and I sat together through a very nice but very long service. The Power Three Hour.

When services ended, I got to take a nice walk to meet my friend Asher, who met me at a playground with six of his eight children. Now that’s a busy household! It was good to catch up with Asher, who lives in Jerusalem, and whom I have known for more than 25 years through Camp Ramah. Although it was a little exhausting to sit in the sun and keep track of six kids, most of whom were making demands of their embattled Aba. And then…. lunch at the hotel, afternoon nap, havdalah and dinner at my favorite place, T’mol Shilshom (placemat pictured below).


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