What A Way To Start An Adventure

Today was a pretty good day.
It was Shabbat.

It’s only two days since I arrived in Israel, and I am stilling feeling jetlagged. Nevertheless I managed to wake up early, and go to a synagogue that Shai (my airbnb host) and I found yesterday evening.

A young man reads the Torah Portion

It was great to go to a synagogue on Shabbat morning. There was a bar mitzvah. So the synagogue was not crowded, but a lot of people were there. Except for one segment, the bar mitzvah boy read the entire parashah.  And he read it well.

During the Torah reading there was a buildup of energy in the room that needed to be released. It started with little children walking and running around inside and outside the synagogue. After about the fifth segment, there was a pause, and some blessings were exchanged. After the 6th segment, women opened the curtain behind the men sitting on the western side. Some singing ensued but we got back to the final segment of the Torah reading.

Once the boy finished the 7th segment, pandemonium let loose.  Candy started flying everywhere.  That’s why the little kids were there – to pick up the candy. After the boy read the Haftorah, the celebration got underway, with half the men in the congregation dancing and circling the bimah. And of course, the boy was on somebody’s shoulders.

After the service there was a big reception outside.  Tables were loaded with kugel, pastries and drinks.  I met an American man and two of his sons who were visiting relatives in Pardes Hannah.  They live on a settlement in the Judeah-Shomron region.  In a short time we touched on several topics about Israel and the situation we find ourselves in.

It was a beautiful Sabbath morning and afternoon.  Of course, I missed the afternoon because I had to sleep off this jetlag.

All the while we were enjoying Shabbat and celebrating the bar mitzvah what many of us didn’t realize was that this day had been very tense for a lot of people.  At night I got the word that a drone strike from Iran and Iraq was imminent.  More on that in the next post.

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