Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Im Eshka'chaych Yerushalayim..."

"If I Forget Thee O, Jerusalem..."

While it is late (at least by MY standards) I feel a need to put some thoughts down before going to sleep. As mentioned earlier, tonight I attended my very first wedding in Israel. The wedding was for the son of friends of our's (Roz Goldberg and Aaron Goldberg) and was held in Ramat Rachel in Yerushalayim. The ruach (spirit) of the wedding was magnificent. BUT, there was a singular moment that I will never forget as long as I live...the Chatan and Kallah (bride and groom) were standing outside, under the Chuppah canopy with the beautiful hills of Jerusalem in the background. During the ceremony, the band played the song of "Im Eshkachaych..." and here I was LOOKING at this beautiful city while singing it, and I became very emotional. While I have heard and sung the song hundreds of times over the years, hearing it and singing it at that moment was surreal. I will not...I can not--with G-d's help--ever forget that enchanting moment.

Tomorrow (Monday) is our last day here on this trip...Lots to do still...hope we can accomplish a little more before boarding that plane back to Chicago.

(One final note...we are staying at my Uncle Morty's home while we are in J'lem. His wife, Julie has owned a dog named Tikva for 19 years. We came home from this wedding on a high with visions of our future still in our heads, to hear the sad news of the death of her beloved pet. While the life of HER Tikvah ended, the life of our Tikvah, our Hope begins.)

My Money Talks...

...and it keeps saying "Good-Bye" !!! We spent a good chunk of time today in Talpiot looking at many items for the house. In VERY short order, we settled on and bought a stove, a cooktop, a washer, a dryer, a refrigerator, a crock pot and a hot pot. Boy, did our money talk there at the store. But, I must say it was all in all a VERY pleasant experience thanks to Ruby Karzen, who helped us through the entire "event." What could have taken us days was boiled down to an hour and a half!

We also spent time looking for "Aronot"/closets. As many of you know, homes in Israel (in general) are built with no closets so it is up to us to locate and purchase them. It is fairly easy since there are only about 54,985,443 different choices, so it is pretty quick to narrow things down. I figure by the time I am 433 years old we should have it all figured out! We will wait until our arrival to take care of this. Too much to handle on this trip.

One more thing that happened today from the category of "ONLY IN ISRAEL." We went into a money changer to change some dollars for Shkalim. I walked in and the person manning the store motioned to me to wait a minute. I stood there and waited for a couple of minutes and realized why he had asked me to wait...he had just finished eating and he was saying Birkat HaMazon! I love this country...