Yesterday, Friday, we were out early to go to a forest where they offered tree planting. Since Tishe B’Av (Jewish Arbor Day when everyone plants a tree) is Monday, they had this planting…mainly for preschool children on Friday…when dads could come with their youngsters (Israel is now closing many business on Friday…..giving a two day weekend)…..and it was so wonderful to see so many fathers with their families. Our CAARI group gave out the seedlings (about a foot high with about a foot of soil) so that the children can plant them in holes already dug and marked with flags…..and when the seedling is planted, the child takes the flag…..Of course, we Chag Sameach, (Happy Holiday) (Happy Holiday) and Shabbat Shalom ( welcome the Sabbath….as it was Friday)….and the kids and their parents respond…..some of the kids come with small shovels or handles of about 2 feet…..and we did not get quite the 1000 people we expected, we were close……and this is a day and activity that always fills my heart with special love for Israel, where trees are so important. We were at the forest, near Jerusalem, which had experienced a fire last year, from 8:30 a.m ubtil 3:30……and were very tired when we got back.
However, I did not rest, as I wanted to go to the charming little synagogue where the rabbi dances around and the services include so much of what I know in Kabbalat Shabbat….I walked there and back…..and we had wine with dinner, welcoming the Shabbat with songs and prayers…..always special here. Our Oneg (after dinner get-together) included some inspirational poetry, readings of Rev Abraham Joshua Heschel,, as well as songs and dances……..and to say I was exhausted, would be a BIG understatement……and so I went right to bed and awoke around 8:00 this morning…..10 hours of much needed sleep!!!
I love Israel……my trip is my yearly gift from Ralph, making it extra special. I am so blessed to have you and Israel in my life!!
love, and peace,