The last week has been incredibly busy coupled with spotty WiFi, so I have failed at keeping a detailed dialog with you, dear reader. Here’s an overview and gallery to catch you up. I’ll post more detailed thoughts in the coming days.
I think I left off after Tuesday’s visit with Jenna Lewinsky and Jacob’s Sheep. Wednesday we had a very special lunch with Ephraim and Rimona in Jerusalem. We got into Jerusalem early and scattered to do things before meeting the Franks at Zion’s Square on Yaffo Street. Kelly and I hoped to get to the Kotel, however the lightrail we were on was stopped and held for almost an hour due to something security wanted to check further down the track. We arrived at Jaffa gate too late to wade through the molasses crowd and instead chose to walk part of the wall around the Old City. We’ll complete that journey some tine in the future. The views were nice, but time was our biggest constraint.
After hustling to meet the Franks, we enjoyed a wondeful lunch, deep discussion and
warm fellowship. We all parted ways, knowing we’d gather in the evening for worship with James Block and surprise appearance of violinist Rivkah Hazelton back in Giv’at Ye’arim
Kelly and I headed straight back to
begin dinner. Our numbers around the table nearly doubled, but as Abba had done earlier in the trip,the food stretched, everyone was filled and we had abundant leftovers. Crazy. And, blessed fun to watch.
Thursday, we again went to Jerusalem, inky this time we managed to get to the Kotel and shop for a couple gifts. The silver shops are my favorite, but my pocket never lasts as long as my list. On our way out of Jerusalem, knowing we had two Shabbats back to back, we bought wine, salad fixings and stopped for coffee at a chocolate shop in En Kerem. Our evening fellowship and worship was extra special with late, late conversation since Friday was to be a Shabbat.
Friday, after some Scripture study, we split up into groups for some short day trips. I led two cars to Samson’s grave and the stunning view from Tel Azeka, site of Goliath’s mocking. Besides the unusually lush greenery covering the hilltop, we gawked over the amazing view in perfect temperatures. Pics in the gallery!
Friday night was again a very late one as the impending separation and departures began dawning on us. We talked, laughed, prayed, sang and shared more fruit of the vine.
Shabbat morning, after a slow start, we had Torah study on the porch
before scarfing lunch and driving to Independence Park where other Ephraimites from around the world were gathered. I recall Poland, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Nicaragua, Germany, Colombia, US, etc… Fellowship was amazing, and as always, new connections were forged and existing ties strengthened.
We ended the evening, after sunset, with a wonderful dinner in downtown Jerusalem.
We’ll be back for Sukkot… picking up trash, enjoying the Land and people, as well as standing in the Presence of the King. See our trip info at aniyosef.com