Sunday, July 29, 2007

Israel Day 11/12

Friday was a pretty busy day...after getting a late start, PegLaz decided to stay in to help her sister cook for Shabbos. I ventured out to do some shopping for some friends that were coming in to Israel too late to do any pre-Shabbos shopping. Nothing too out of the ordinary except for the funny "artwork" I saw on an electrical box in Emek Refaim. I shlepped the stuff over to their apartment in Maalot Dafna and spent some time in their well-air-conditioned apartment.

Upon coming home, I got a call from my friend who asked if I wanted to go to "Lifta", some sort of mineral spring just outside of Yerushalayim. Apparently many people go their for a pre-Shabbos dip. After a 10 minute hike down to the spring (don't ever let anyone tell you that Crocs are acceptable hiking shoes), we jumped in the spring, which was FREEZING, yet refreshing. All was well there except for the plethora of Yeshiva boys in their tighty-whiteys (sorry for the visual). From there, I got home just in time to shave and shower for the onset of Shabbos.

It's interesting how they work the beginning of Shabbos in shuls here. Light Bentching is 40 minutes before Shkiya (7:05 this past week), and this is when the women lit candles. Somehow, however, in Shul they still davened Mincha at 7:35. Maybe the men specifically aren't Mekabel Shabbos with their wives' lighting, or maybe it's not Tarte D'Sasrei as it appears to me. Interesting. Anyway, dinner was at our friends down the road (you probably think that since I keep referring to everyone as "friends", I have a lot of them - it's really the same 4 people ever time) and very nice. Again, the Jerusalem evening weather made for some nice walking on the way back. Shul the next morning was nice, followed by lunch here at my sister-in-law's. Some interesting discussion about the state of Israel and those who make Aliyah, etc. Again, our friends' daughter was the star of the show.

Learned, read, and slept in the afternoon. Mincha and Maariv; nothing too out of the ordinary there. After Shabbos we got a call to see if we wanted to go to the Old City, and considering we didn't have any other plans (and it's the Old City) we went. We met some friends there and took some nice pictures by the Kotel, but a minor misplacement of the camera left us taking pictures with someone else's camera (thus, no pictures yet). We hung around by the Kotel and in the Old City before opting to walk the 35-minute distance from the Old City to Maalot Dafna for some Melava Malka. Ate some (cheeseless) pizza, shmoozed, and finally called it a night around 1:30. Dead Sea today and tomorrow....will post about it when we get back.


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