Saturday, July 19, 2008

Waiting for Internet...

…then I’ll post more, but meanwhile we had our second Shabbat in Israel, which was lovely - met two more families, including one who lives in our building. They provided our first meal that was less than a 30 minute walk away ;)

We had seudah shlishit (the third meal of Shabbat) in the park behind our building and then watched the sun set over the hill. Was absolutely magnificent.

And tomorrow, along with many of our neighbours and many of our fellow Israelis, we will fast to mark the start of the three week period leading up to Tisha B’Av (the 9th of the month of Av on the Hebrew calendar). Tisha B’Av is a day of mourning that commemorates many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people, including the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. The only remaining part of the Temple (above ground) is the Western Wall. You might recognize it by the gleaming gold dome of the mosque that has been built on top.

During the three weeks, Jews observe minor mourning practices. Some Jews will not cut their hair, or shave, or buy new clothes. No marriages take place, and there are no planned celebrations. All of this is to prepare us for the full day of mourning and fasting on Tisha B’Av, when we spend the day reading Lamentations.

What’s sort of blowing my mind is, in one way or another, nearly the whole country is observing this. No one will look askance at my frizzy split ends, or at Morey’s scruffy beard. And so very many people are planning their day tomorrow around the fast.

I love living here.

Shavua tov (a good week).

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