Sunday, May 29, 2011

An Israeli Experience

I do not often write specifically about the Jewish Israeli experience, but perhaps this small anecdote from the weekend can illustrate how my quality of life as a Jew, regardless of my level of religious observance, feels more natural here in Israel.  A feeling with which I was less comfortable, growing up on the East Coast.

This past Shabbat, Raphaela and I stayed in Efrat at our cousins house;  we are talking House here, seven bedrooms, four floors, much more like Boston or Teaneck or Westchester than Jerusalem, and we are talking bedlam, with a total of nine children under the age of eight under the same roof for the weekend.  In order to get some fresh air and some quiet, I decided to take Raphaela for a walk, despite the heat of the afternoon.

I hadn't realized how hot it was outside, nor had I counted on Raphaela being quite so thirsty: we hadn't progressed too far up the killer hills when she presented me with her empty cup and asked for more water.  I knew that first of all, there would be a place of worship on each block, and I also knew that on Shabbat the doors would be open, even if no one was there to pray at that time.

Sure enough I found one small but inviting building, no worries.  I basked in the air conditioning and refilled Raphaela's water, and we continued on our way to visit one of my oldest friends from college.

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