Sunday, December 28, 2008

Second post of the day...or how I spent my Chanuka vacation

We've been having a pretty low-key Chanuka here at Casa Baila. But today we decided to mosey on into Jerusalem to see the candlelighting at the Kotel.

I always love the approach down to the kotel, that first sighting. We got there with perfect timing, at dusk, just as the candles were about to be lit.

No, this is not the official Kotel Chanukiya. It's the Chanukiya that's lit up on the side of the Kotel--not sure whose menora it is, probably a Yeshiva.

The Kotel Chanukiya after it was lit.

Here's Rav Shlomo Amar giving a bracha after candlelighting. When he was done, he got off the podium and was treated like a rock star. People were pushing and shoving to shake his hand and touch him. Of course, we're talking about the men. We women just watched.

Anyhoo, after his security detail shooed people away, HaRav Amar lead the Maariv, the evening prayer. I was thrilled to get this shot of him saying the Shema:

I know, I should have been following his prayers, but I couldn't resist the photo op. After the picture was taken though, I settled down to what was a very emotional and inspiring Tefilat Maariv.

The evening wasn't over yet. After we left the Kotel, we walked back through the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Menorahs were lit everywhere, casting a beautiful glow against the white stone of that ancient city.

I hope you all enjoyed the holiday as much as I did.


Anonymous said...

baila, this was such a beautiful post. we have been reminising all thru chanuka about our bar mitzvah there 3 years ago. there was nothing nicer than seeing the lighting of the menorah at the kotel or walking thru the streets of jerusalem and seeing all the menorahs lit in boxes outside the homes. we will never forget out time there. thanks for the memories and thje beautiful pictures.

Phyllis Sommer said...

this is a beautiful post - love the chanukiyot! thanks for taking all those pics and sharing.

SuperRaizy said...

Thanks for the pictures- you made me feel like I was there!

Unknown said...

Very nice, only it is not Rav Yosef but rather Rav Amar - the current Chief Sephardic rabbi.

Baila said...

Thanks, all. And Zimmee, I stand corrected. I'll change it on the blog.

Mrs. S. said...

Beautiful pictures!

Batya said...

gorgeous post
I've been hanging out here in Shiloh, except when babysitting and the family party in Nachlaot.