Saturday, February 28, 2009

It is Shabbat afternoon, we managed to prepare lunch for friends Ammi and Anat from Haifa as well as Ronne and Bernard who are here with the CCAR.   It's no easy feat to prepare lunch in a kitchen the size of a table, but we managed to pull it off.  It's good soup weather!  Jerusalem is finally getting some of the rain it needs so badly.  It's windy and cold and Israelis are thrilled and grateful for every raindrop; I discovered that my winter coat is not at all rainproof.  Last night, we walked in the pouring rain to the Jerusalem hotel to join a group of rabbis on a bus to Shabbat services in Mevasseret Tziyon.  We were two cantors among several hundred rabbis who were divided up and hosted by different congregations around the country.  The service was pleasant and the congregational participation was full-voice, but the music, except for one or two pieces, was shopworn and identical to Kol Haneshama and Or Hadash.  There's a lot of Debbie Friedman liturgy here and it seems that the Israeli reform movement is badly in need of some new creativity.  After services we were warmly hosted at the home of Shaul and Tania Feinberg, where we enjoyed a traditional Shabbat dinner with several of Shaul's rabbinic colleagues.
Last week we were delighted to have a few days "on the coast."  Laura, Roy and I joined Henry and Laurie in Herzliyah--truly another world!  After living in a kosher apartment in very kosher Jerusalem, it was a novelty to find ourselves in restaurants where they serve "shrimps" and hamburgers with bacon.  Herzliyah was our base for a day of touring and "hiking" with Laura, Henry and Laurie.   Our guide, Yuval, did the best he could working around the weather.  We did manage to do some great eating.  Our most challenging hike was Arbel, a mountain up in the Galilee.  The pictures say it all...

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