Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Six Splendorous Days

I timed this post to coincide with the 46th anniversary of Israel's famous Six Day War (June 5-10, 1967) but with more than 700 Jewish lives lost and over 2,000 Israelis wounded in that otherwise miraculous week, "splendorous" is malapropos. (Note: My husband, the IP attorney, advised me to remove from this post David Rubinger's iconic photo of the paratroopers at the Western Wall unless I would like to pay huge copyright infringement fees. Needless to say, I heeded his advice.)

Rather, "splendorous" refers to the Six Day Stay in Israel that my mother and I enjoyed together in early May.
My apologies to everyone I knew I wouldn't get to see (and therefore didn't call) during our visit. The itinerary and pace of our wonderful week was almost entirely Mom's (and, truth be told, my pace ain't quite what it used to be either).
Being far from the typical American tourist, the highlights of my week were atypical, too. Highlight #1 was the car rental. Usually, that's Bill's job and he does most of the driving but this time I made the reservation, sat in the driver's seat and cruised around the country like I owned the place. (Oh, right - I do own the place!). I felt truly Home.
The minor miracles that I signed up for with the rental contract are too many to mention but suffice it to say that I squeezed into the tightest parking spot of my nearly 40-years behind the wheel. Well, not a parking spot exactly but a heaven-sent space against a wall where I left the car in order to walk to the Wall. Every one of the many wrong turns taken was a delightful detour en route to my intended destinations.

Highlight #2, also with clear hashgacha pratis (Divine intervention), was finding my way down a dark street and up a creaky flight of stairs to hear a shiur (lecture) by the speaking sensation,
Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi. I've watched many of her videos but hearing and seeing her "live" - and in Hebrew! - was a whole 'nother chavaya (experience). Receiving a personal blessing from this amazing woman was in itself worth the entire trip.

Our whirlwind week reminded me yet again of our Homeland's contrasts between the old and the new. "Herod the Great - The King's Final Journey" at the Israel Museum is a fantastic exhibit of King Herod's numerous palaces and construction projects (circa  40 B.C.E.).
My very first ride on Jerusalem's not-so-new-anymore light rail brought me back into the 21st century
which will soon boast the opening of the holy city's stunning new Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

A visit with my dear Uncle Reuven was another trip back in time through the eyes of this walking encyclopedia of a century of Israeli history. Born 90-plus years ago in Rishon LeTzion and still living there,
Uncle Reuven inspires me with his unwavering trust in G-d despite life's many challenges. And to think that all these years, I didn't know how close Uncle Reuven lives to the beach (just ten minutes in my trusty rental car) until this visit when Mom wanted to see the seashells on the Mediterranean Sea shore.
I went on a shopping spree at Esther Weiss' Silverpoint Judaica in the Rova (Jewish Quarter of the Old City) to refresh my collection of mitpachot (head scarves). Esther will personally wrap every scarf in her store around your head until you find the one(s) for you! Other highlights of my Six Day Stay: short-but sweet time with friends and family (including Mama Rochel, of course), pit stops at some of my favorite Jerusalem eateries and savoring the fruit and flora of the Land on my first summertime visit to Israel in ten years.

Esrog tree in Har Nof
Oh, and let's not forget my darling Ber! May he continue to shtaig (study well) at his new yeshiva.

Just three days after my return to the States, I hung my flag on our mailbox to celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, the Hebrew date of the reunification of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. This Friday will be the "English" anniversary of that glorious victory.
In the shiur that I attended during my Six Day Stay, Rabbanit Mizrachi spoke of the non-coincidence of Yom Yerushalayim occurring on the same Hebrew date (about 3,000 years apart) as the petirah (passing) of Shmuel Ha'Navi (the prophet Samuel) whose burial place, high on a hill, overlooks Har Nof, our old neighborhood. In brief, it's got a lot to do with the women (including Samuel's mother, Chana) whose trials, tribulations and tears built Jerusalem and whose spiritual descendants will rebuild her once again.
With "the three weeks" (of mourning for the destruction of the Temple) beginning this year on June 25, it's comforting to know that my tears and yours, shed as we Remember Jerusalem, are part of the rebuilding process. King David, anointed for the monarchy by that same Prophet Samuel, said "Ha'zor'im b'dimah b'rinah yiktzoru" - Those who plant with tears will reap with joy (Psalms, 126:5). And won't that be splendorous?

1 comment:

  1. Indeed it will, dear friend! I look forward to walking the streets of Jerusalem with you when you return, after we "spiritual descendants will rebuild her once again."