Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday, August 13

We had a lovely lovely time at Eli’s parent’s house for dinner last night. Aside from all the delicious food, it was just so emotionally warm. Our two families are so dear to each other, and Eli’s folks are just wonderful.

Waiting for Eli to arrive:


Apparently I have been sent by G-d to be in Israel at this moment. On Thursday night, one of Eli’s small nephews, his sister Peninah’s son, was stung by a bee, right near his lip. The kid was crying for a long time, and I’m still kicking myself for not thinking about this sooner, but eventually I realized he should take a Benadryl. Which of course I always carry, because of my own allergy kid, Micah. Well, after they gave him the med (and I had it in the convenient Fast Melt kid’s dose), Peninah took him to the doctor, where it turns out he WAS having an allergic reaction, and had he not taken the Benadryl, he would have wound up in the hospital. I am so glad it all worked out, but again, I am sorry I did not think of it sooner (although Debka reasoned this: at least now they are SURE he is allergic to bees, where I am still not sure about Micah because I stuffed the med into him within 45 seconds of getting stung last fall, so he never had time to have a real reaction).

Anyway, Savta (Grandma) and Saba (Grandpa) live in Ma’alot Dafna, right across from where we picnicked in Ammunition Hill the night before. They live up on the 5th floor, and their apartment is just lovely. And all the porches in Jerusalem are designed with Sukkot in mind - the porch is a perfect place to put the sukkah.

The kids had fun, although Sofia was a bit tired (and once dinner was over, she really wanted to leave, and ended up falling asleep on my lap). It was fun to watch Eli turn into another 12 year old, as he did the Birkat Hamazon (Grace after meals) but his father kept correcting him (mostly for going too slowly).

Eli drove us home, and we passed about a zillion buses - looks like bus tours of Pakistani or Indian Muslims, in Jerusalem for Ramadan. Wild.

We got to sleep around 11:30, all zonked out. I woke up at 7 (courtesy of David announcing “It’s 7:00, are we going to shul?” and then going to sleep), and finally dragged their lazy butts out of bed by 8:15 so we could get out of here. We went to the Masorti (Conservative) shul at the Fuchsberg center, on Agron street. Rain? In Jerusalem in August? Really? (It was just a tiny drizzle, but still weird).

Such a special morning. I only burst into tears about 5 times during the service, from extreme happiness and emotion. I had the Shmini (6th) Aliyah (honor of being called to the Torah)! There was a Bar Mitzvah...and the family was from Framingham! They usually go to Temple Beth Am, but the grandparents had been founders of the shul here. VERY Cool. The regular rabbi was on vacation, but the guest rabbi was wonderful, and his wife davened musaf (led the Additional service) - and it turns out she is a Cantorial soloist for the high holidays in Milton, MA! She had such a lovely voice. And I was a bit overcome with sadness that I will not be doing the High Holidays in Ashland this year. Had a really weird Shabbat nap dream about it.

Services ended just after 11am, there was a bit of a kiddush, and we came home for lunch and naps. Sam and David fell asleep right away. Micah and Sofia stayed awake but played quietly. I got them some lunch, did some reading, and took a short nap myself.

It’s a little after 3pm now. I woke David and Sam up a little while ago and forced them to have lunch. I want to go for a walk!


Later: So I finally got David and Sam up and we all got out for a walk. However, the 12 year old was in “silent mode.” You might think that it is pleasant to be with a 12 year old who does not talk, but Samuel takes it to extremes. And he refuses to use ASL, which we can all understand, but rather insists on using his own made-up sign language to try to communicate to us. He was NOT pleasant to be around all afternoon!

But we took a lovely walk anyway. Micah was in a great mood, and David enjoys just walking and looking. We meandered down to Zion Square, up and down Yaffa street a little, and then down David Melech, into the park at Yemen Moshe, back over to Keren Hayesod, down Ramban, and up Ussishkin back to our street.

On Ramban, we found a playground and let Sofia (and Micah) have a bit of fun. It was FULL of very Orthodox families. Some were not friendly, but some were very pleasant. I had a nice conversation with a charming little girl of about 5 years old, regarding why Sofia had changed into her “every day” shirt rather than stay in her Shabbat dress!

While his siblings played, the 12 year old stood with his arms tightly folded across his chest, scowling. He did, however, finally put on his kippah voluntarily. Whatever. The other kids had fun, and it was a nice break.

For today's photos, click here.

We came home, had a snack, and I took a short nap until Shabbat ended. Then we headed back out to find dinner. Went to a yummy Italian dairy restaurant - the salmon risotto was a hit with me and all the kids (although the boys actually had pizza, but Sofia and I shared...).

Sam got into a better mood after eating. Whew!

After dinner, we walked up Ben Yehuda Street, something you’ve just GOT to do Motzei Shabbat (Saturday evening after Shabbat ends). I made Micah pick out a new kippah, since the two he brought are too small and the baseball hat he brought makes him look like a very short trucker. David put up with me (and Micah) going in to LOOK at every store, but he really does not want to buy things there. He’d rather bargain in the Shuk (the market).

It’s nearly midnight, and we’re all getting ready for bed. Sam just realized that he has not been putting his dirty clothing into the laundry, so he missed yesterday morning’s laundry run. Great.....

Old City tomorrow!