Beautiful morning! Breakfast at the little café around the corner from our house. Supermarket for Shabbos preparations. Then, Jen brought the kids home and I did a quick run to Heimeshe Essen and Angel Bakery to finish our Shabbat shopping.
Once everything was home and put away, we ran into town to pick up the papercuts we ordered the day before, and to return some books to Sefer VeSefel, my favorite new/used mostly English bookstore in Jerusalem. It is wonderful. One can buy used books at the beginning of the trip, and their selection is extensive and all over the map, and return them at the end of the trip for most of your money back. It is like a lending library for a small fee.
Of course we needed to do a little more shopping, some more t-shirts and tschotschkes.
Now, where to go for lunch? Hey what do you know, there’s a Kosher Burger King right here?!? (If you don’t understand the silly tone, read yesterday’s entry.)
After lunch, we headed over to a college buddy’s house. Glen was a very dear friend in college, who was part of our group of four that came to Hebrew University together for a semester.
After graduation, he came to study at Pardes, fell in love, spent a couple of years in a long distance relationship with Heather and Israel, before returning to get married and make aliyah.
They have four kids, including a month old baby, Hodaya, who was born just before we arrived in Israel.
Glen is actually combining a number of passions and skills and is part of a venture capital group that is raised $60 million for environmental business ventures in Israel. If you know anyone who is looking to invest wisely in Israel and has ½ million or more, check out his website.
Eli and Adina also came over with their kids.
So ten kids under the age of nine – it was a wonderful afternoon. They ran through the sprinklers, played lots of games and made a big mess.
There is something very special about watching my kids play with the children of friends with whom I have been very close.
It also is more impetus for reflection to be on the eve of our last Shabbat in Israel, and to spend the afternoon with two friends from the States who have made their life here.
When the kids were well-soaked and well-exhausted, we headed home to clean up for Shabbat.
We lit candles, not our new candlesticks. We are saving those for next Shabbat!
I will miss the ease and relative cost-effectiveness of being able to serve a Shabbat dinner of fresh challah, Matzo Ball Soup, Chicken Shnitzel, delicious Meatballs, sweet Lukshen Kugel, Jerusalem Kugel and pareve Chocolate Rugelach without having to cook a single thing! (I know, daddy forgot the vegetables!)
And lots of singing! We are do more singing now as a family than we ever have before, and everybody loves it! Wait until you here Maital singing!
A quiet night of chatting together and reading books, and Jen and I fell asleep very happy and very torn between the excitement of going home to see family and friends and the deep sadness of leaving Israel.
I expect that duality will only become more pronounced in the coming days!