In a very welcome change from the manual, physical things that we have been doing lately, we had an interesting evening/morning yesterday. A good friend from over the years, Stuart Katz, is here in Israel with his family to celebrate his daughter's Bat Mitzvah. I got a beautiful email from Stuart asking if (even though it is last minute) we would want to go to Tveria (Tiberias) that evening for the Bat Mitzva. For those of you who know Andy, I would not characterize her as particularly spontaneous. But in a surprise move, she agreed it would be a great break and two of our daughters decided to join us as well. We left the King David Hotel (on a reserved bus) to head towards Tveria at about 4:30pm (1630). After stopping in both Modi'in and in Ra'anana to pick up others, we were solidly on our way. The only problem is that the combination of the HORRIBLE traffic and the driver not taking a very good route, we arrived at 9:30pm (2130) after a long and tiring trip. BUT...It was truly worth it. The ruach (spirit) was great as we sat on the banks of the Kinerret (Sea of Galillee) and ate a beautiful meal. In a surprise move at the end of the meal, all of the guests were invited onto a boat for a (midnight) cruise with music, Divrei Torah, dessert and dancing. Once we got to the bus to return, we were exhausted but, indeed, quite happy we made this trip! We all slept on the way back...some more than others. I can say that I never hailed a cab at 4:05am in Yerushalayim before, but I found out how fast we can make it from Yerushalyim to our front door with no traffic...15 minutes flat! It was great...
Since we enjoyed the long bus ride so much yesterday, we are getting on another in a few hours and heading up to Karnei Shomron for Shabbat. There, we will be hosted by life-long friends, Bevie and Chucky Klein. We are all looking forward to what promises to be a great Shabbat.
Oh, I almost forgot! We actually, finally did get our shower doors the other day. Now while that may not sound like such a big deal, after 5 weeks in the house without shower doors and needing to be careful about not wasting water AND not getting the floor soaked, it is a welcome relief to finally have them. (Once again, I am so pleased that the guy who came to install them, upon being given water to drink, made a Bracha out loud for all of us...it is SO special to live here).
This morning, we blew the Shofar in shul for the first time on 1 Elul 5769. This sound heralds in the coming of Rosh Hashana....two things struck me when saying it and hearing the Shofar: The Rambam tells us that the Shofar is to wake us up from our slumber. After arriving home last night at 4:20am I could not help but be amused by the double meaning of the Rambam's words in this case. Secondly, in L'David, which we began to say last night, it says: אַל־תִּטְּשֵׁנִי וְאַל־תַּֽעַזְבֵנִי אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׁעִֽי: י כִּי־אָבִי וְאִמִּי עֲזָבוּנִי ("...cast me not off, neither forsake me, O G-d of my salvation. For though my father and my mother have forsaken me...") Yet, as I said those words, I was quite aware that it is I who had left THEM. Thank G-d for Skype (Israeli invention) and cell phones (Israeli invention) and modern forms of communication.