Thursday, August 20, 2009

Special Things I Notice in Israel

NOTE: CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO GET A LARGER VERSION.

I've been privileged to be visiting Israel

for close to a month now. Each day, I see and experience small things that remind me how much I love this county. Three observations came in rapid succession today, reminding me of the specialness of being a Jew in Israel.

As we were driving back to Jerusalem from Kfar Saba, it was just about dusk and the time for davening mincha, the afternoon prayer service, was rapidly coming to a close. Traffic was quite heavy, leaving people without sufficient time to get to their destinations before the mincha service could no longer be said. All along the side of the road, at least a dozen cars were pulled over and Jews were standing by the side of Route 1 to Jerusalem praying the afternoon service.I think this must make God feel very proud, like a parent whose children behave appropriately without being reminded.

Upon arriving in Ma'ale Adumim
we went to pick up a few things in the grocery store. On our way in, I spotted an older woman, not outwardly religious, wearing shorts and a sleeveless top. She reached her hand up to the mezuzah

and kissed her fingers so naturally, anyone watching would know she has made this gesture thousands of times before.

We picked up some fruit, milk and gum and, on our way out, a man crossed into the store as we were leaving. He caught my eye and said, "Chodesh tov," wishing us a good month in the earliest hours of Rosh Chodesh Elul.

These are small, everyday things here. These things I cherish because they are so consistent with my Jewish soul.

Most of the pictures I took on this trip have been of views that delight me because they are only to be seen here in God's Land:

A sign that warns us not to enter this street on Shabbat and Jewish holidays


Haredi children climbing and playing like children anywhere else in the universe


Modern Hebrew words that make me smile because they are so darn clever. (Afarshazif is a combination of the Hebrew words for peach and plum... nectarines!)


Really personal street signs


An old friend making challah on Friday morning


Special sensitivity to religious needs


Being part of a people who remembers our past


And being part of a people who holds fast to dreams of our future

6 comments:

rutimizrachi said...

"Long in the tooth," maybe. I wouldn't say "old." "Friend" -- BEHtach! :-)

What a beautiful post to wake up to on Rosh Chodesh Elul! I love the way you see the world, my dear friend.

I believe that it is photos such as these, with notes of approbation from one Jew to another, that will bring our Redemption. As we each submit them to Tatte's celestial photo album, how can He not see that we are conscious of the value of each Jew, and of His mitzvot?

May we see the Geula very soon, together.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

BEAUTIFUL! As always, I love your perspective and especially the neat things you pick up on.

Knighted Vorpal Sword said...

Your comment about the woman kissing the mezuza reminded me of what I saw yesterday at the NbN ceremony. I was watching as one of the olim walked by, carrying a sefer Torah. Many, many people stretched across the fence to touch and kiss it - and these were all different kinds of people, some dati, some obviously not. 'Twas a joy to behold!

Hebrew Scholar said...

Thanks for this very personal and touching post. In Israel, everything you do, everything you see and hear, reminds you of the connection to Hebrew, to the Hebrew Bible, and to the history of the Tanakh. It is all around you as you go about your everyday life.

Tamar said...

love it, love it, LOVE IT. The power of the written word augmented by the visual. to echo Ruti, I love the way you see the world, my dear friend.

sparrow said...

Hello Rivkah, I'm a blog friend of Ruti's. I wanted to drop a note to say hi and say how much I love your blog. Also your warmth and friendliness just oozes out of your writing. I am going to be voting for you to go to the Jewish Bloggers Convention. Hope you win.