Friday, September 18, 2009

Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova!

Yesterday as I was flying from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia I saw the most amazing sight out the window. A moment before the sky had been dark. Then all of a sudden, the tiniest bit of light peaked through the clouds. As I watched, the light grew brighter and brighter and gradually encompassed not only all the clouds but also pierced though to the land below. It was a dazzling sight. And it reminded me of why I was flying home from Israel on this visit - for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. To feel and experience Gd's presence on earth, in all of us, in a very immediate and personal way. The sun peaked through the clouds and then slowly slowly filled the heavens and the earth with its radiance, just as the Spirit of the Shechina is present in the universe and in all of us and slowly slowly makes herself seen/heard/felt in our lives. 

May we all blessed in this new year of 5770 with love, happiness, health, parnassa, and all that is good and important. May the world we live in also experience a bright new year filled with peace - lots and lots of peace.  Amen. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Travel Log: Tzfat

     Visited Tzfat with same friend with whom I went to Haifa. What a gorgeous place Tzfat is - the views, the artwork, the shops, the views and more views..... We entered Tzfat in a round about way that enabled us (sort of unexpectedly) to see the streets, homes and back alleys of the city. And the steps! So many steps as the city is on a hill - as is Haifa.  One needs good strong legs to live in Tzfat. 
     Turns out I was right by the doorway that led into the apartment my daughter lived in when she did a modified version of Livnot U'Lehibanot: To build and be built, a wonderful program that does community service and other types of things. Check it out at Also went to the wonderful Tzfat Candle Factory - I am addicted to their stuff.
Picture 1:  Signs to center of Tzfat. So much to choose from!
Picture 2:  View from the restaurant where we ate lunch.
Picture 3:  Some history: Metzuda - The Citadel. The highest point in Tzfat. During Second Temple times was used to light the bonfires that announced the Rosh Chodesh - the new month - was beginning. Stragetic military position as well.
Metzuda (Citadel)
Picture 4:  An example of just one of the amazing pieces of sculptures that one sees all over Tzfat.

Travel Log: Haifa

Visited Haifa with a friend I hadn't seen since High School. While there, we had dinner with another friend whom I hadn't seen since University.
Eze kef! (What fun!)
Picture 1: Cafe Ha-Fuch - literally upside down coffee, 
not so literally, latte (I think). My current favorite drink of choice. Almost always ordered Natul (decaf). 
Picture 2:  A strange government building in Haifa. Pretty cool. 
Picture 3: The boardwalk in Haifa, near the Hof HaCarmel bus/train station.
Picture 4: The waves! Picture sipping the Cafe Hafuch, watching the waves....