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2019

Connecting With Each Other and Shabbat

Connecting with each other and Shabbat

I am really glad for the opportunity to connect with my group during Shabbat when things seemed a little less hectic.

Many of us gathered after dinner for games and wine in the hotel lobby Friday night, and I feel I got to know them better. That closeness continued during the Shabbat morning discussion.

We all went to lunch at a home near Mamilla Mall. Our lunch hosts were incredibly welcoming and made us feel right at home. Both had lived in the U.S., and they were joined by an acquaintance from Northern Virginia who had attended my synagogue as a child. The couple, Avi and Rachelle, had a lovely meet-cute story about falling in love over a year of being friends — I would totally see that movie. And they shared how they grew up with different Shabbat customs, and now shared their home with visitors curious about what Shabbat is like. (Note to self: check out Shabbat of a Lifetime for my next visit to Israel)

Later in the day, Havdalah was a joyous musical celebration, with dancing on the roof overlooking the Kotel. I am not Shabbat observant, but I love Havdalah whenever I do it. I love the sensory elements, the aroma of spices, and the sizzle-pop of the candle being extinguished — there’s magic in it. I think one concrete way I will bring my trip home with me is to make more of an effort to do Havdalah.

While it wasn’t part of the Momentum program, I enjoyed the Tower of David Night Spectacular, about the history of Jerusalem — I watched in wonder as the story was projected on the stone walls of the fortress.

I also loved that my whole group went that we made time for each other and shared the experience. Shavuah Tov!

Jenn Rafael
Pozez JCC / The JFGW
Fairfax, VA

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