Har Herzl Cemetery
Perhaps the most moving thing we did this week was visit the Har Herzl cemetery, where most of Israel's msot important leaders are buried, as well as the military cemetery right next to it. Placing stones on the graves of Golda Meir, Yitzchak Rabin, Levi Eshkol, Teddy Kollek, and soldiers who died in the wars from 1948 through today in terrorist actions, was really an awe inspiring experience. It's very hard for most of us to relate to the idea of people that are willing to sacrifice their lives for the cause of defending their nation, but seeing the graves caused me to think about the depth of those feelings. It was really quite an afternoon for all of us.
|Gravestone of one of the famous Golda.|
|Gravestone of Michael Levine, recent|
American immigrant and Camp Ramah
Counselor. His grave has become almost
a pilgrimage site for many American Jews.
This week we attended Mizmor l'David, a very modern Orthodox synagogue in the Talpiot neighborhood. They have a side by side mechitza, so women feel much more comfortable here, and a woman takes the Torah and carries it around the women's section so all have the opportunity to kiss it. The ruach here is tremendous, with people singing in wonderful harmonies at the top of their lungs to mostly Shlomo Carlebach melodies. The people also try to dance after Lecha Dodi, both the men and the women, though separately. If I hadn't attended another Carlebach style synagogue called Kol Rina the week before, this would have been amazing, but It's hard to compare anything to the ecstatic feeling created there. This was just an energy notch below. However, the Saturday Musaf at Mizmor l'David was the best Musaf I have ever seen. The person davening had an amazing combination of good voice, ruach, and sincerity. Unfortunately, the 3 1/2 hour service which preceded Musaf didn't enable me to enjoy it fully. Still, I have to give many kudos to the men and women sustaining this shul. It's certainly a great one and, as I said, would have felt even greater had I not had the even more amazing experience the week before.
Wine of the Week
This week's wine was the 2008 Psagot Shiraz. This was not a winery with I was familiar, as it is not widely available outside of Israel (though their website says it is sold in the United States). This was a 91. I liked it almost as much as the Barkan Reserve. Its color was especially beautiful--like a perfect plum. It was smooth and rich with very soft tannins. It is made in the Jerusalem Hills, and Karen remarked that this was her favorite so far.
Shavua Tov, a good week!