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Currently Browsing: Israel Diary

Israel Diary: Oasis, part 2

How do you connect to a place? To a moment? To a historical period? Is it even possible to create a connection to a moment you weren’t yourself part of? Talmud asks us to invest in the idea that every Jewish soul was present at Mt. Sinai. Various Rabbis took it a step further and asked that we try imagine (remember?) ourselves standing at the foot of the mountain. Rabbi Elimelech of Lyzhansk took... read more

Isreal Diary: Oasis, part 1

During our month-long stay in Israel, we spent a lot of time in Jerusalem and it’s nearby areas. But we did venture to a few places further out – Haifa, Ein Gedi (the Masada/Dead Sea area), etc. One of the places I wanted to try to have the family experience was the area known as Mitzpeh Ramon. Many people choose to camp or hike in this area, the site of the world’s largest crater, but... read more

Israel Diary: Wearing It On My Sleeve

“These tefillin – do you want Ashkenazi or Sephardi style?” We’re in a great little store at the north end of Ben Yehudah street in Jerusalem. My wife and I have purchased tallitot for my boys (in anticipation of Bar Mitzvahs which are still years away); two “kiddush pishers” (the owner’s words, not mine) and a matching hand-washer. Now we were looking at... read more

Israel Diary: Magical Mystery Tour

As we’ve discussed our recent trip to Israel with friends, one point continues to come up: how (and why) did we keep it a secret until the moment we left. So I thought I’d describe both our method and madness here, in case you enjoy tormenting your family as much as we do. It all started when the kids were very young. We decided that it didn’t make sense to wait until the... read more

Israel Diary: Like a Month of Sundays

What does a month days in Israel look like? Obviously, the answer would be different for everyone. What appears below is a brief outline of our experience. Looking back, there is very little that I would have changed. To understand our choices of stops and pace, you may need a little background: We are a family of 6 – 2 parents and 4 kids ages 19, 15, 10 and 7. That spectrum of ages means we need to be... read more

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