Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What I did on my Sukkot Vacation

Okay here are a couple of pictures from our Sukkot experiences. On Friday, the first day of Chol Hamoed, Isaac and I were invited on a private tour of Ir David by a new friend who is Director of something-or-other over there. She did this in honor of her husband's birthday. We had access to places not yet open to the public. The kids were not invited, so they slept in, and called only every half hour or so to complain about each other or to ask when we would be home. The tour was amazing and took the better part of the day, so it was completely selfish of us to go and leave the kids at home. My poor deprived children. The guilt is just killing me. This is a picture from the top of Ir David, past Shaar Ashpa (Dung Gate--where you enter to go directly to the Kotel). If you look closely, you'll see a blimp, which captivated us as it flew over the Old City. There's something you don't see everyday. Of course, this had nothing to do with Ir David.
On the tour, we were shown parts of what was actually the castle of David Hamelech, King David. Can you guess what this is a picture of?

They have recently discovered the road leading up to the Beit Hamikdash that the people of Israel were "oleh regel" on. It was amazing--we stood on this "road" on Sukkot--one of the Shalosh Regalim. I stood on the same spot that my ancestors did as they walked to the Holy Temple. On Sukkot. There were holes in the floor, and my friend, our guide explained that when the Romans captured Jerusaem, many Jews fled to the sewers. When the Romans realized this, they broke through the streets to the underground to smoke the Jews out. Under the roads archeologists have found food, ancient coins, writings. Imagine, even under those conditions, the Jews held out hope that they would survive the destruction...and we did. And now we are back here, constantly finding the connections between the present, and the past. Go to Ir David and feel that feeling, feel that connection...

On Sunday, the Iriyah (city government) of Modiin offered olim a heavily discounted trip to Neot Kedumim, a nature reserve 10 minutes from the modiin. It is a unique nature reserve that focuses on plants from the Tanach. This being Sukkot, our tour focused on the Arba Minim. They also had a display of different Sukkahs, which ones are permitted and which are not.

Etrogim growing at Neot Kedumim. All of the other pictures at NK have us in them, and I'm still undecided about posting pictures of us (that clearly show our faces).

On Monday, our lift arrived. It was so overwhelming to go from (almost feeling) settled to boxes everywhere. We couldn't see our floor. But I had invited my aunt and uncles and my Israeli cousins and their chilren, plus Isaac's family--all in all about 20 adults and to-many-kids-to-count (BAH)--to a Sukkah party in honor of Liat's birthday and I didn't want to cancel. That motivated us to sort through the boxes quickly, and by Tuesday, things were significantly better, although I do have several more boxes to go through. It was a really nice party, and so good to see my cousins.

Birthday cake for Liat at our Sukkot party.


Anonymous said...

did that cake come on the lift from zomicks?

Baila said...

Actually, the cake from Mega, the supermarket in Modiin. When I asked if they had a birthday cake (silly me I went to the bakery part of the market), they said, go to the fruit and vegetable section. ?????? "But I want a cake", I said. I was sure I wasnt' understanding the guy, but then lo and behold, there was the cake, right next to the lettuce. 45 Shekel. And according to those who had it, it was yummy.

Lion of Zion said...

i think ir david is the best place i ever visited in israel