Gooooood morning Jerusalem!
It was a great experience being able to go with Batya and her Gan (Kindergarten) to this special trip to Jerusalem last Friday.
We met at 4:10am by her Gan, 2 buses took us to Jerusalem. We passed through Meah Shearim (ultra orthodox neighborhood) were we saw people walking towards the Kotel (Western Wall) for Slichot (special season prayers). We got to the Kotel and it was packed. The children prayed on the plaza under a Talit beautifully as you could hear people praying in the background and shofars blowing, it was an unbelievable scene. After that all the parents got in and prayed Slichot and the morning prayers. As always visiting the Kotel especially during this important days of the year was very emotional and spiritually significant. After the prayers we gathered in the plaza again and the children sang.
We then walked through the Jewish Quarter and listened to the guide’s explanations, remember this is still before 8am. Walking through Jerusalem’s old city gives a special feeling of walking through history.
We then went to Gan Hapaamon to have breakfast and saw the replica of the Liberty Bell which was a gift from the US to Israel. From there we went to Mishkenot Sheananim where Montefiori’s wind mill stands and the children sang the songs they learned about him. I was so proud to see Batya singing with all the children songs in Hebrew I never heard before.
We closed the Tiyul (trip) at the Gan Hamifletzet (Monster park) which was by far the highlight of the trip for the children. We returned home at noon very tired but with a priceless experience.
It’s something amazing that we were able to do something like that. Just in Israel.
Below are some pictures and videos of the trip.
Welcome Home Bnei Akiva
It took a couple of months until we were able to make our home a Bnei Akiva hub once again. This Shabbat we hosted 9 Mexican kids that are spending one year in Israel just like Liora and I did after finishing high school. They had Shabbat Dinner and Lunch here with us. They had a great time and we enjoyed hosting them knowing how good it felt back then when someone gave us a decent meal. It brought great memories. We have now been officially named their adoptive family.
Back to Work
Today was my first day at work since beginning of July when I left Heinz. Later on I will describe more in depth but it was a tough day. I’m working as a Marketing Manager at Diplomat’s food division (www.diplomat.co.il). They distribute consumer products from around the world in Israel including Heinz, Procter & Gamble, Quaker, other. They were very nice to me but I know it’s going to be rough. Today everything was in Hebrew and I forced myself to keep it that way. I have a lot to learn and many people to meet but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Hey, it’s not the first time I’ve done something like this before, it will just take some adjustments. I'm thakful for the job I have.
Who moved the Clocks back?
I love this place.
Today (Sunday) at 2am we moved the clock back 1 hour. So now we are 6 hours ahead of Pittsburgh/NY, 7 hours ahead of Mexico and 9 hours ahead of San Diego (let me know if I have any other zone Blog readers to calculate the time difference for you J ).
The clocks are moved back the first Sunday before Yom Kipur so that the fast can be finished “an hour earlier”. Isn’t it amazing? I love seeing the interaction of Torah law and tradition with how the modern state of Israel deals with regular government and national matters taking into consideration that we are a country like no other. Only in Israel.