While today is only Sunday, I find myself already thinking about Shabbat...specifically Friday night...and specifically Kabbalat Shabbat. To participate in the serene, melodious nearly-surreal singing is to BEGIN to understand the idea that Shababt is "me'en olam Haba" (a taste of the World to Come). If I could describe in the printed word what it feels like to sit there with a few hundred people singing so beautifully together and the absolute peace at which I feel while singing, I would attempt to put it in words. But the best way to say this is to say that anytime you find yourself in Israel, you must experience a Shabbat in Mitzpe Nevo, especially the Tefilla.
During the week, I often catch myself humming tunes from the Friday night tefilla and think that it is only "X" number of days until we are together again for that mystical time. While I could elaborate further, you get my drift by now!
I had a very interesting thing happen today that, when I thought about it in retrospect, I FULLY understood the situation. I often go to daven Mincha at 1:35pm at the local boys Yeshiva high School. There is, of course, a gate through which all visitors and students must pass and must be buzzed in through the security gate. Over the past few months, the one or two Shomrim (guards) who are at the gates came to know me, and buzzed me in as soon as they saw me. Today, however, I arrived to see a new guard. He asked me for ID...I had been working in the house on some project and was not walking around with any identification. He asked again for me to present ID...when I told him I had none, he would not let me in. As I began to explain how I am there nearly every day, and he said he would not let me in, I just put up my hand, stopped the conversation and said, "Ata tzodek" (you are correct!). Under no circumstances should he have let me in, and he was 100% right about it. As I walked home, I recalled that the #2 Bus was bombed by a homicide bomber dressed like a Chassid. Just because a guy comes with a Kippah and tzitzit out does NOT entitle him to walk freely into a high school.
(PS--As I write these words, I am sitting in our backyard until a moonlit sky filled with 1000's of stars. I look up, and in the distance, I see Jordan and hear the faint sounds of cars on the main road a couple of kilometers away. The beauty of Maale Adumim is staring me in the face one mountain over...Ah, Hashem has truly blessed us!)