So, last night we were eating dinner with an acquaintance from Baltimore who has been in Jerusalem for a month, learning Torah at one of the many fine women's learning institutions here. The restaurant was a modest but charming dairy restaurant on Emek Refaim in the German Colony. As our meandering dinner conversation was winding down, the radio, which had been playing unobtrusively in the background started getting louder. And louder. To the point where we wondered if the music was coming from the radio at all.
We paid our check and stepped back onto the street, fairly certain now that something was going on out there.
Indeed. We watched a truck, brightly covered with neon lights shaped like Torah crowns, followed by some dancing chassidim carrying sifrei Torah under a chuppah, they themselves followed by 100 or more happy Jews of many stripes and flavors, including, joy of joys, Jewish women.
It was dusk, and the pictures don't really capture fullness of the moment - the speakers blaring out a joyful Avinu Shebashamayim and the sense of simcha in the crowd. But it was a quintessentially Israeli moment. The type of moment friends have been telling me about (and blogging about) for years. The type of experience that always made me a little sad to miss out on. I floated down the street with the crowd, jumping up and down, my heart full of the kind of happiness that makes a person's eyes well up.
Pinch me. I can't believe I'm really here to stay.