24 December 2010

Just an ordinary day!

On the way back from Givat Shaul, I stopped on Agrippas for my gluten free challah. "Only in Israel" did I find such delicious GF challah. It's been years since I could add this enjoyment to my Shabbos.

Next, a run thru the shuk and I was ready to head home. While waiting nearly half an hour for the 17 bus, I watched the unique assortment of Israelis from all over the world doing their weekly shopping and shlepping at the shuk. The variety in clothing, head gear, and unique ways some transport their goods is amazing.

Why is it davka! on yom hamishi when half of Jerusalem is heading home after shopping in the shuk that they don't use the buses without steps on my line? Davka when people are lugging their bags, carts, boxes, and other strange packages, do they have to drag them and their aged weary bodies up the steps of those pre-'48 buses!? Oh, well, gam zu l'tova.

Finally seated, enjoying the aromas of fragrant cusbara, celery, scallions, smoked sardines, hamutzim, spicy anavim (yum!) and petrozilia "glatt". . . There was a thud and then "Nahag, nahag, regah!" a pretty young Israeli shouted. Then a scream and a elderly lady was on the floor, arms went flying to lift the lady ... "Nahag, nahag!" ... the bus stopped.

Everyone helped her up and she found a seat. Todah's abounded and then ... The driver (Nahag) pulled the brake, left the driver's seat and came to the lady. He put his hand on her shoulder, and asked if she was alright. Again he asked, and it seemed he was not going to move until he was sure she was ok.

Never mind the traffic behind us. Time stood still.

Another "only in Israel" moment.

After we were on our way, where HaNeviim meets Strauss, buses were lined up all the way down the hill. Our driver decided to open the door and let out all who wanted King George street. I stayed on because I needed Rehavia, as well as several others. "Maybe it's a bomba? someone asked. That got my attention real quick. We all started guessing, cell phones buzzing all over, and then quiet. No, maybe just a drill?

I decided to take in the scenery as I knew the route the Nahag was taking. Forty minutes later there was my husband at my stop waiting devotedly to help me with our precious shuk delights. "What happened, I went back to the house to get my cell phone, thinking you might call me..." now, that's another story ... why he doesn't have his cell phone just when I'm trying to reach him!

Why does 'petrozilla' (parsley) need to be "glatt"?

07 December 2010


I cannot begin to express my wonderment and excitement when yesterday morning I awoke to rain! Not everyone is so happy to see and smell the rain. But when you live in Eretz HaKodesh every drop of moistness is a Bracha (blessing) from Shomayim (heaven). I opened the door to my mirpeset (patio) and inhaled the sweetness of the blessing. An added blessing is a light rain in the Carmel.

What is water anyway? -
A transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid, a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, H2O, freezing at 32°F or 0°C and boiling at 212°F or 100°C, that in a more or less impure state constitutes rain, oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.: it contains 11.188 percent hydrogen and 88.812 percent oxygen, by weight.

In America, I would stay home on rainy days.

01 December 2010

Ancient echoes reverbate within

It was my intention to use this blog to write my impressions about being a new resident of Yerushalayim. After nearly five months, I can honestly admit that 'settling' has consumed our lives. Both the day to day necessities, plus the 'additional paperwork' (even though Nefesh and the JA did a great job helping us organize before the move) and just plain learning all the things that ordinary life in Israel entails. So, after all this time, at last, my first post, and hopefully not the last.

I have always loved being outdoors in the sunshine, with trees all around, clear skies, or a sky filled with magnificent fluffy clouds playing havoc with the suns rays. The feel of the morning air, crystals floating on blades of grass, hanging off of dangling leaves ... The cool moistness resting on my face.

It is now almost five months that my husband and I are living in Yerushalayim. It takes minutes, hours, days and weeks to slowly become familiar with very different and new surroundings, all the while giving conscious awareness of the hashgocha pratis (providence) in each new experience that one is brought into.

If one can be 'in love' with a place, then I am immensely in love with Yerushalayim and the whole of Eretz Yisrael.

A walk down a street named after Isaac ben Judah Abrabanel, (Lisbon, 1437 – Venice, commonly referred to as The Abarbanel, was a Portuguese Jewish statesman, philosopher, Bible commentator, and financier).
And onto another street named after Solomon ibn Gabirol: Shelomo ben Yehuda ibn Gevirol.

All around are famous names, and very very old tall trees that have been witness to the creation perhaps, but more so to the raising up of hills and roads bearing royalty. Royalty in the Jewish Biblical sense, such as Rehov HaNevi'im (Street of the Prophets), Derech Hevron (Hebron, where Adam and Chava, and Biblical giants Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah, Rochel and Leah are resting), Alfassi, Ben Yehuda, Dovid Hamelech (Tehillim), Betzalel, Ethiopia, Queen Shlomtzion HaMalka.

These names belong to the pages of history but I am here now walking among names of people who have contributed so much, some suffering, just so that I can live and breathe the air of Yerushalayim.

Humbling, very much so.

For their sacrifices I owe them the respect of living consciously, aware of my ancestors' battles.
But I am here! Now, in the 21st Century, with talk of our Jewish Geula floating within the very avira (atmosphere) that all Israelis breathe so effortlessly yom yom (daily) and the non-jews who have come to visit or live because they too are aware of this potent air and spiritual landscape

Since the 80's when I first experienced this sacredness, I have been desiring to reunite my neshoma (soul) with the very Land that held our Avos and Imahos. I cannot divorce myself from their lives and inheritance. Especially, Yosef, the son of Yaakov, pulls at my heart so much so that research has filled many hours searching out his children's children.

Back in Brooklyn (from where I moved), on the third floor of a private home, with leafy trees full of serenading birds inches from my window, I sat at my iMac googling every idea that related to the lost children from the Tribes of Yisrael that were the descendants of Yosef ben Yaakov.

My mind's travels took me all over the cyberspace; while the myriad of paperwork took me to the El Al flight reunited with my neshoma's yearning.

to be continued ....