Make sure you visit the soon to be award winning (I hope) guest blog post at:
The blog post talks about my Job Interview experience in Israel and has received rave reviews.
And now…. back to our regular programming…..
A couple of weeks ago I blogged about Commemorating Rosh Hodesh Av 5769 and how the first days of Av are of great sadness (technically it’s actually 3 weeks before) getting us to the 9th of Av (last week) which among many other things marks the destruction of the two Batei Mikdash (Holy Temples) and is remembered with a 25 hour fast. This year about 3 hours away from breaking the fast I decided to visit the Kotel (Western Wall) to pray right next to where it happened on 586 BCE and again on 70 CE. Why? Because I live here and I can do it whenever I want!
It was an unbelievable experience to be among thousands of people praying and in lamentation.
It was also an unforgettable experience to see thousands of people breaking their 25 hour fast at the same time. I thank Liora for preparing a cheese sandwich for me to take with me that every time I would open my bag I would get the smell of fresh baked bread waiting for the clock to turn to 8:05pm. After sundown there was a big bus giving away cold drinks and pastry, however I was not brave enough to get one for myself, I just sticked to my sammich (as they say in Pittsburgh).
It is amazing to see how Jerusalem has been rebuilt, alive and full of light. It’s happening! May we witness the reconstruction of the 3rd temple speedily and in our days.
Enjoy some of the pictures by the wall and the breaking of the fast.
Day of Love (Tu b’Av)
Yesterday we celebrated Tu b’Av (15th of Av), which marks a "high" to counter the "low" of the Three Weeks leading up to Tisha B'Av. In today’s Israel it has become the Day of Love and a chance for stores and manufacturers to capitalize on selling flowers, chocolates and gifts.
During the day and taking advantage of Liora’s day off we went to the City of David’s archeological park where David established the city of Jerusalem aprox. 1000 BCE. It was an amazing experience to see the guide using a Bible to walk us through all of the discoveries, the tour also included going through the tunnels that King’s Yechizkiyahu built to channel the water in defense from the Assyrian threat. We had a great Day of Love, take a look at the pictures below.
Peace & Love – From Woodstock (‘69) to Jerusalem (‘09)
40 years wondering in the dessert, 40 days waiting to receive the Torah by mount Sinai, 40 days of the flood, many times the number 40 figures in our history. This summer it’s actually 40 years of the Woodstock Festival and what better way to celebrate it with the spirit of Peace and Love (love from 15 of Av) than by going to a Woodstock Revival in the holy city of Jerusalem. By the way on August 8 it will be 40 years since the shooting of the picture for The Beatles Abbey Road Album.
I went with my good friend Ari and had a great time and a very unusual experience. The crowd was mostly American, there were babies, children, adults and older people just like in the real Woodstock but on a much much much smaller scale, there were probably a couple of thousand people. You can read about the event HERE. The lineup included some apparently famous guys that interpreted songs from Crosby, Steels & Nash, Hendrix, Neil Yong and The Doors (although they did not attend to the original Woodstock). If I heard right one of the performers did play in Woodstock.
Our sages explain that the temple was destroyed because of hatred among the Jewish people, that night showed a beautiful state of love among so many different kind of Jews (OK, they were mostly American but nevertheless from different religious denominations).
The performers were excellent and most probably not under the influence (?) like 40 years ago. I was amazed particularly by one of the groups headed by Lazer Lloyd who has a long beard, black hat, hanging tzitsit. They did Hendrix in an unbelievable way. You can watch one of his videos HERE (for Hendrix lovers only). One of the songs he performed was imitating Hendrix legendary Star Spangled Banner however he did the Hatikva (Israel’s national anthem) instead and was beautifully played, I recorded part of it but the sound quality is not too good (it was too loud) and apparently I was not meant to record it all because the battery died in the middle. Enjoy (I apologize for the sound quality) .
There was time for Mincha prayer (afternoon prayer) in a corner and Lazer Loyd even gave a quick Dvar Torah (short sermon) about Tu B’Av in between songs. For an interview he said "It's not just a concert; it's like being at Mount Sinai all over again". I love this country!
The atmosphere was beautiful, full moon, and the night was cooling down. I felt once again part of “the people” just like I did and described on the blog Paul in Tel Aviv. By the way I missed you at this concert Dani and hope you did well on your exam.
Enjoy with me the memories of this wonderful Peace & Love experience with some pictures of the event below.
Peace, Love & Shabbat Shalom.