Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Jerusalem to Tel Aviv
Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Last night after the exhausting day we had, 5 of us went to meet a holy and wise Rebbetzin in Mea Shearim. ( I would never pass up an opportunity to go back to that area!) Her husband passed away but she consults many people on medical or personal issues. People from all over request an audition with her for her wise words. At first she asked what we wanted to know. I think everyone just expected her to reveal some kind of unknown mystery about life. I just went for sheer curiosity. Then my sisters started to ask her questions like ” how do I deal with my husband who is not as observant” or how do I deal with my child who’s sick. She would give a one sentence answer to every questions but she was right on! In just a few words she would make you feel like- don’t you see the answer is that simple! She did say that if there was one ritual we should do- it was the morning prayer as you awaken. When we finished our session we just stood waiting for the cab- I just love watching life go by in that area. It’s such a dichotomy in that this world is so foreign to me, but yet I feel like Ive been here before. So that was last night. Today, we get our luggage ready to go back to Tel Aviv. We tour the city of David and witness a lot of excavation sites. From our site, across the valley, we see the Moslem quarter of Jerusalem We have some free time and lots of people are shopping for engraved bracelets which you can get online. Then we board the bus to go and pray at Kever Rochel’s tomb. It’s just outside the gates of Bethlehem. You see the tall wall with people crossing by foot. She was buried there over 3000 years ago. It’s very special to the Jewish people. Rachel was childless but was considered to be the mother of the Jewish people and a promise that someday all Jews will return to Israel. You hear the men praying loudly on one side and the women crying and praying quietly on our side. Mrs. Claman was also there crying near the tomb since her brother has just passed away. She will join us to the mostly women army base. We give all the young soldiers gifts, which they greatly appreciated. It was mostly young women observing television for 4 hours at the time without taking their eyes off the screen. I talked in French to a young Moroccan Parisian soldier who had left Paris to serve in the Israeli Army simply because she had a calling. She was only twenty and already a leader of that base. I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of her. After taking the time to talk to many soldiers, they joined us outside, sang and danced with us. It was so moving. They’re so close to death all the time but they sing and danced with such abandon! Lastly we topped the night and our trip with a final banquet at Gush Etzion winery in the West Bank, so we went through tight security. It was time for all 50 of us to day goodbye and to profusely thank our leaders. In our group, Rhonda wrote a beautiful speech. Our Guide David told us his story and how he made Alyah. Most of our group continued to Tel Aviv for a couple of days, so we continued our party! When we left the winery, they separated the humans from their luggage so we boarded a bullet proof bus to Tel Aviv and when it was safe they transferred us to the smaller bus where our luggages were. We finally got to Tel Aviv. After moving rooms a couple of times we were fast asleep.

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