Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Hard to believe, but Shalom Shachne, Penina and Ilana have not been to the Old City since the week after we made aliyah (oops).  What can I say--it's a lot closer than 6000 miles, but it's also not around the corner and, with Sunday being a school day, there isn't a day that's easy to take off for trips.

Last week, we started to make up for the lack of visits.  Thursday night, I had a rental car and Penina and I picked up Chana at seminary for a trip to see the Jerusalem Festival of Light, an international festival that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.  But first, we stopped to see "Mrs. Eliana", the first close friend who is our kids' ages to get married (she and Batsheva were in school together, and her parents are the friends who bought our former house in Malden).  It was SO SWEET to see her with her hair covered, puttering around her little kitchen and making dinner for HER HUSBAND (as was said with awe thirty or forty times!).  We had a little Malden reunion, since Esti R. and Ariella, the bride's sister, were also visiting and it was really lovely to see everyone again. We even scooped up Ariella for our visit to the Light Festival, which made it all the more fun.
Perhaps as close as I may ever get to the real Eiffel Tower

The Festival was very bit as wonderful and as crowded as everyone who had visited already had led me to believe.  It was very interesting to see modern art juxtaposed with the Old City (like, "Wow.  Of all the things I thought I would never see in the Old City, at the top of the list would be two guys playing electro music while wearing white from head to toe, including white puffy wigs and white tutus....").  We loved the water fountain that looked like it was out of Disney World, with a synchronized sound and light show and then pictures of the Old City projected upon the water, and the exhibition at the big Post Office building on Rechov Yaffo.  I thought it was just lights upon the building, until Ariella and Chana pointed out that, across the street, there were old mailboxes painted, turned into percussion instruments, and then wired into the exhibit, so that, when the tops of the mailboxes were hit, it changed the colors on the entire post office building in accordance with the beat.  I had to smile at the Chassidish guy who got so into it that he was turned sideways so as to play on two mailboxes at once (he was good, too!).

We visited the Kotel, and it was so nice to be there again.  Penina decided to continue to make up for lost time by accepting an invitation to Liat's house in Jerusalem for Shabbos, which included her taking the bus to Jerusalem alone, and going with Liat's youth group on a pre-"Yom Yerushalayim" Shabbos walk to the Kotel, which was over 1.5 hours.  Each way.  In 100 degree heat.  Way to go, Penina!!!

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