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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish life’

While we had some cold, drizzly weather to start –  the clouds did eventually part and we had some delightful sunshine while starting our tour of Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter.  What a fascinating city of history and culture.  By the time we got to the wailing wall with grandma and grandpa (the folks who catalyzed this trip in the first place) the sun and blue sky made an appearance for us.  It was so moving to be at the wall as several generations of Jewish family… grandparents, parents and kids.   When we walked around on our own – we found winding little streets where neighbors repurposed their recyclables and made charming art on their front gates and homes.  And the kids loved trying on the food at the Old City muslim market before Shabbat – we learned that Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness (because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah.)  No wonder there’s pom juice and seeds everywhere!  IMG_2154IMG_2157IMG_2164IMG_2165

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more cats snoozing in market stalls…

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moving moments at the Western Wall with grandma

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Ezra and grandpa leave a note..

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feasting on pomegranate seeds

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This crazy, fun, warm city built out of desert – filled with frenetic markets and halva, dried fruits, pickles and nuts, and the oldest history and most beautiful Ottoman era culture and architecture.  We had our first taste of shawarma here and .. did I mention the halva?  It’s everywhere, and that made me very very happy …

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market full of yummy olives and options

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halva or halvah or halwa – any way you slice it, I love it!

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apparently Ben-Gurion use to like to do handstands on the beach, as does Zoe!

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before and after photo showing that Jaffa truly stands on desert

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I love these outdoor boxes that keep the menorah glowing for all to see

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more halva!

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spice towers at the market

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these folks don’t mess around with their love of pomegranates

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a cat snoozes at a Yemenite jeweler’s studio

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I have to admit … we agonized about planning this day, for months (maybe years). It’s no small feat putting together a very ‘do-it-yourself event’ for 150 people – but we made it through (we hung 100 balloons, nearly that same quantity in Ezra baby photos, and managed to master uplighting ourselves).  But the most impressive part is Ezra himself, and his bands of musical kids who performed!  Ezra learned Hebrew so quickly (a little more than a year) and then ran a service like a grown up.  We are so proud.  We got so many compliments on his singing/chanting abilities which – I’m assuming is rare during this age when kids’ voices begin to change and crack! (think Greg Brady.)  Anyhow here are some great pix taken by our photographer on that day.  It now seems so silly that I agonized over hanging all my ‘gold and white’ themed decorations when – not only did the uplights overshadow it all – but my boy’s maturity is what really won the spotlight …

(By the way – we painted those recycled wine bottles to make our own centerpieces; and a special thx to grandma, grandpa and Aunt Becca for the fresh flowers! They provided the flowers at my wedding as well. Gotta love family with mad gardening skills.)

the flowers in front of Ezra here are in honor of deceased loved ones – and will continue to grow in the synagogue’s garden in their memory

a portion of Ezra’s money gifts are going to Lion’s Share Food Pantry, where Ezra volunteers every month

clearly, we have a lot of photos of Ezra’s childhood to add to the walls!

Cousin Angelo may grow up to have the same “performance knack” as Ezra

Zoe loves being the MC

the epic slide show put together by Ezra’s dad

and speech crafted by mom

friends and giggles during the slideshow

when the jazz band was done, cousins stepped in so that Ezra and family could dance the Hora

and Ezra got a ride in the chair – mazel tov to my boy!

 

 

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Once again we tripped off to Bridgehampton Barn – and right in the middle of the hurricane week.  Somehow shockingly we got a day of sun and strange misty, foggy weather.  We love going to this beach – where we married – to toss bread crumbs or do ‘tashlich‘ for the High Holidays.  I wrote about tashlich for my synagogue’s newsletter this year, because it’s a special tradition that me and the family like to do on Rosh Hashanah.  It’s especially nice to do it at the beach – a pensive place when all the tourists are away, as they tend to be gone when September comes around.   This 2 day break was really restorative!

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Ezra pulled this bench to this spot, and felt inspired to draw!

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outdoor breakfasts and beach

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the waves got so large!

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a calm inlet away from huge waves for the littler ones

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I’d forgotten to post some pix from our synagogue’s Purim Carnival… always a fun event, and colorful in that the kids get to make their masks and costumes and nosh on jam filled hamantaschen. Enjoy some pix of one of the Jewish Holidays that – at least in this year -seems to usher in spring!

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We were hellbent on frolicking in waves while we can … even Louie enjoyed the beach in Sagaponack and smelled like sea air for a weekend.  Zoe loved having mosquito netting .. er, ‘princess canopy’ .. on her bed.  I don’t think we could find a better spot of ‘moving water’ for Tashlich!  (Don’t know what tashlich is? Click here).  The waves were huge like the day we got married in this same spot and – I’m not lying – the sky really was that pink during sunset hour:

 

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(this pix of my loves by Greg Kessler)IMG_9621IMG_9647IMG_9669

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Cousins Alison and Stella took us to the Mitzvah Garden near there synagogue, where we learned a thing or two about collecting water in rain barrels and planting vegetables for summer!  I plan on using some info I gleaned about keeping purple martins around with bird feeders .. so that they will linger to eat all our bugs!

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Ezra getting zen with some small planting

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