Tuesday, October 14, 2014


This week, we have already gone to the Biblical Zoo and flown a kite at the International Kite Festival at the Israel Museum.

Today I took a walk down memory lane, in more ways than one.  Every year during the interim period of Succot IE the 11 day vacation that Raphaela has from school, Jerusalem hosts an international 15K march and parade, featuring groups from all over Israel and Righteous pro-Israel Christians from all over the world, including China, Germany and United States.

The walkathon terminates in Gan Saccher, right near our house, and features a free Carnival, with rides and clowns and bouncy castles and games; as well as the tastes of adventure and fun that brought me back to my childhood, mainly cotton candy and candied apples.  I forced my daughter to inhale the joy that is cotton candy, so that she too may become hyper on sugar and fond memories.

There were also two staging areas with a ten hour flow of entertainment of groups from Israel, including dancers and martial arts and singing.  Many of the dancing groups excited Raphaela, my Prima Ballerina.  However, I can say with certainty that I now have a new favorite Boy Band, KINDERLACH*, a religious choir group made of six boys with great voices and all the moves of Justin Timberlake.  They reek of charisma and sang a full range, moving between hip hop and Israeli rock, rap and classic religious Jewish ritual music.  They captured my heart and I am even going to buy their newest album, the audience (religious and secular) demanded several encores. 

There are people out there who know me well and they are laughing their asses off: I grew up resenting the limitations and misogyny of my Ultra-Orthodox community in New York.  The presentation and tone of this group represents in a certain way everything that I rejected about my upbringing.  And yet, hearing and watching them perform today, it made me warm inside, grinning from ear to ear.

Ironically, the Jerusalem March is based upon the Biblical concept of "Aliyah LaRegel," the trek that ancient Jews made during this set of holidays in the time of the Temple.  Today it translates to Israelis from all parts of Israel walking through their capital, camping out in a park together and embracing all that makes us one nation, accepting of others despite our differences.  Much like the four species that we combine for a blessing on Succot.

Plus the free activities for children who are going stir crazy without the structure of the regular school day.

Now THAT deserves a celebration.

* KINDERLACH, translates into "children" in Yiddish.

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