After the great privilege of waking up in Jerusalem for the first time we made our way to the Southern excevations and the city of David, once again Brian blew us away with his expert guiding and even helped us conquer our fears as we waded through the water and darkness.
Then finally, notes in hand, we at last headed to the ancient Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall. That long waited electric magical moment came at last, our hands touched the ancient stones and for many the tears began to flow as everyone soaked up the incredble energy of being at our faiths holiest location.
After the girls finished up their connecting time with the Wall and many of the fellas took the opportunity to put on Tefillin, it was time for something very,very special – our late comers Bat Mitzvah girls and naming ceremony.
Minus the shmorgasboard, themed party, flowers, photos, braces and pimples we celebrated loud and we celebrated proud.
Mazel Tov to the Bat Mitzvah girls Caitlan, Marina, Kelley, Jen, Elise and Dena. Also we congratulate the new identities of Oriah, Avigail and Elisheva aka Marina, Caitlin and Elise.
The speeches were powerful and moving, the dancing and singing was energetic and heartfelt and all in all it was a very special experience which we were all privileged to be part of.
From then we headed off to the Shuk (marketplace). What a sight seeing the hustle and bustle, the rush for Shabbat, the colors, the smells, the sights and the sounds of one of the busiest places in the Jewish world. Lunch and lots of shopping was the order of the day including our “Mysterious Maccabbee” present buying for our bonza bus buddies. So we shopped and we would have dropped but not with the Western Wall on Friday night waiting for us!
Showered and smelling and looking good in our Shabbat best, we headed off full of gaiety and felicity of spirit ready to experience Shabbat at the Kotel. What an experience it was, singing and dancing with our friends and strangers alike. Praying, swaying, spirits soaring and voices roaring, a truly uplifting night.
When it was all over we took a lovely stroll back to the hotel through the beautiful Jerusalem night, streets and neighborhood, taking it all in as we schmoozed away with our new friends. All the walking certainly worked up an appetite as we came back and dug into our Shabbat meal. After the meal it was off to our activity room as Dena and Gavin impressed us by recalling the entire picnic menu from day 1! This was followed by the “Stump the Rabbi” session, an open chat about anything and everything…
Then finally most of the crew called it a night…
More details on Shabbat day coming…
Over and Out –
Mayanot Four Eleven : Israel, a Slice of Heaven…