First Week in Israel

Technically, this is my second week. I arrived, exhausted after a long layover in Europe and a few hours that took me to get to Tzfat from Ben Gurion, Thursday. Having been met by my friend, a jewelry designer, whom I didn’t see since 1994, I was clearly ready to crash, but happy to see her in this city. Tzfat, though, a magical place it is, allowed me to breathe fully, embracing me with its loving fresh air and the views one doesn’t get to see that often.

Shabbat in that city is truly out of the realm of everyday existence. The very air is inviting, the mountains and Kineret are employing you to never leave, the shuls packed, the people singing, it’s tangible.

In Jerusalem I am now in a familiar environment of the Beit Midrash, happy to hear the buzz of it and to have my fellow students point things differently than I see them.

Jerusalem makes me want to cry of happiness and say Sheheheyanu every other minute. It is real and unreal at the same time. It binds, as Yehuda Amichai said.

For now, my short verse:

A page of Talmud coming alive

Shabbat candles’ light hovering in class

Sages talking, me – a fly on the wall

I am passing a shul named ‘A Gate to Heaven’

This is where two Jerusalems merge

For me. For now.

 

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