Saturday, December 29, 2012

Kibbutz, Desert & Jerusalem

The past two days have been filled with learning, beauty and emotion.

What did we do on Thursday in the Israel Negev Desert?

If I was 25 then I might have just stayed on Kibbutz Laton. Kibbutz living is a big vision supported by a simple (very) life filled with hard work. The adults learned about how the Kibbutz operates while furthering advances in environmentalism and sustainability. The Youth (ages 10 to 18) literally got their hands dirty making straw and mud bricks.

Bricks made by the Youth. 
Kibbutz Laton's completely organic garden in the desert!
Exploring the Timna Park was educational, amazing, beautiful, serene and fun! 
Oldest Son & Youngest Son climbing through the desert hiking trails.
Commuter Husband & Youngest Son in crevice around the Copper Mines of ancient Egypt.
Youngest Son climbing to an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic on side of cliff.

Oldest Son, there that spec in a great big world ... 
After lots of hiking, Israeli Snacks! Chocolate milk is from local Kibbutz.

What did we do on Friday as we headed north from Negev Desert?

Jeep tour that took us inside the Ramon Crater ...
Youngest Son & Commuter Husband looking for fossils and me in the shadows ... 
Desert Colors decorate Youngest Son's face. He just could not resist the dampened mud
Arrival In Jerusalem

We will be in Jerusalem six days. 

We attended Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat Services  in Modi'in at the Kehillet Yozma, one of the very few Reform Temples in Israel. The service was completely in Hebrew and yet it still felt familiar. Tears flowed from Commuter Husband and me as Oldest Son was called forward with others celebrating B'nai Mitzvah to stand under the Jewish Chuppah for prayers and then to be pelted with candies. The smile on Oldest Son's face as he was called forward lit up the world.

Then ... we were hosted by an Israeli family for Shabbat. Our hosts had a little boy who was 11. The Israeli Boy did not speak English but the universal language of xbox and soccer balls sufficed. Commuter Husband and I discussed topics with the Israeli Couple ranging from politics to travel to schools to Jewish life to backgrounds - fascinating. They are originally from near Tel Aviv but the mother's family is actually Turkish of which many live in Istanbul. The food - wow (!!!) - pea soup, green salad, cabbage salad, meat pastry, homemade tahini, challah, meatballs with tomato sauce & rice, turmeric chicken & potatoes and tahini & honey cake.

Today will be Shabbat. No cars. No restaurants open. No commerce. The way Shabbat should be ...

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