There are blocks and blocks of paved pedestrian open air malls, restaurants, cafes and shuks. Such a delight for the senses!
We picked up food at the shuk (market) for the first couple days of Pesach, just before the holiday began.
We attended the Chabad of Rechavia's Seder that was held in the banquet
hall of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. We sat at the table of a Chabad Rabbi from
Boca Raton, Florida and his family. They were so much fun and totally
made our Pesach a very special one.
On the first day of Pesach, we attended services at the Jerusalem Great
Synagogue. What an overwhelming experience! The world-famous Cantor and
Jerusalem choir sang the entire service.
It was a like a private concert. I sat in
the women's section three floors above the rising domed sanctuary, and
was eye-level to the exquisite stained glass windows that covered the
entire wall above the bimah. Chills ran up and down my spine as I closed
my eyes and listened to the amazing choir.
This synagogue also holds the world's largest collection of mezuzot.
NOTE: Bernie took these pictures a few days before the holiday ...
After the holiday, we took the light rail transit around the entire city, from one end to the other: to Mount Herztl and back to Jaffa Central, which was our stop.
Guess where we ate after the first two holidays??? ... at a KOSHER FOR PESACH ... McDonalds! This felt s-o-o wrong on so many levels ...
Oh darn ... it's closed for Pesach ...
On Thursday, we caught a bus into Beit Shemesh to visit family & friends. Bernie and I were invited to his third cousin Mimi's house for a wonderful dinner. Bernie had never met Mimi before ... but they have heard so much about each other growing up. It was such a thrill to finally meet her and her beautiful family. Like Mimi explained, "whenever an Estrin travels, we go through the phone book and look for other Estrins"... ask them who their father and zaida's are and chances are ... you will be related. That's just the way the Estrin's roll! Looking forward to seeing the "Kamilar clan" this August in western Canada! Thanks Mini for a wonderful evening, great to meet your family. (Finally!)
We were so very honoured to be invited to Shlomo & Ayala Finkelshteyn's house also in Beit Shemesh. They are formerly from Edmonton and have now been living in Bet Shemesh for 3 years. They have seven daughters! We spent the afternoon with them and visited with their adorable little girls! Ayala treated us to a a lovely seudah, which we all enjoyed in their beautiful home.
Getting ready for another Shabbat & shopping at the Pesach shuks! So much "street fun" on our walk to Ben Yehuda market.