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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Wow - what an amazing 36 hours!!!  We arrived in Jerusalem after an awesome camel ride.  We stopped at Mt. Scopus to get an overview of the city of Jerusalem.  While at the overlook, we celebrated the 25th Wedding Anniversary of Maxine and George Hess...and what an amazing toast that was!  We made our way to our hotel and had a couple of hours of rest and relaxation before we went to Jaffa Gate for an intro tour to the Old City.

We walked into the Old City and were then guided onto the rooftops of the Old City - what a view!!!  From there, we walked to the Egalitarian section of the Western Wall.  I led a short service in which we sang a few songs, said a special Mi Shebeirach for all those in our lives who needed healing.  Afterward, we made our way to the traditional section of the Western Wall (the Kotel).  Everyone was allowed to spend about 30 minutes or so observing and participating in the many Kabbalat Shabbat services and activities at the Kotel.  Kobi, our guide, danced with all 3 of our boys in the men section!

From the Kotel, we walked back to our hotel for dinner and bedtime.  This morning, we woke up for breakfast and then went to Kehillat Har El, one of the Reform synagogues in Jerusalem.  I was invited up for an Aliyah and then Rabbi Ada and Cantor Evan blessed our congregation with a wonderful blessing.  Tim Roberts was also invited to do Hagbah!  After walking back to the hotel for lunch, we then walked to the Israel Museum to see a gigantic model of the 2nd Temple Old City and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In the afternoon, we had several hours of rest time (thank you God for Shabbat!) and then we ended Shabbat with a moving Havdalah ceremony overlooking the Old City.  Afterward, we ventured for dinner and shopping at Jerusalem's prime outdoor shopping mall - Ben Yehudah street.  I had a tasty schwarma sandwich at New Deli followed by delicious ice cream.  I was able to spend some time with my friend Jan at his store - Ora Israel - before I returned to the hotel for some well needed sleep.  Tomorrow will be a full day - and I will blog about it tomorrow night.

L'hitraot for now!
Rabbi Boxt

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