Monday, November 20, 2006

This past Shabbat I, along with my friend Avram, traveled to the neighbourhood of Ramot in Northern Jerusalem, to spend Shabbat with our teacher, Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein, who is also a good family friend. Again, just like last week, we got ready for Shabbat before leaving home and took a cab up to Ramot. It was actually a beautiful ride, taking us through Kiryat Hamemshala and past the Knesset, and onto the Menachem Begin highway, heading towards Ramot. As we ascended the hill, i got my first glimpse at the breathtaking vista afforded looking south towards central Jerusalem. We arrived at Reb Mordechai's house, and after chatting for a bit with him and one of his sons who is studying at Yeshiva, I noticed some chassidic music that could be heard in the background. I asked about it, and he replied that we were hearing the 'pre-shabbat music' that's played in his neighbourhood every Friday for 10 minutes before the siren so people know to put their last dishes in the oven. How amazing and convenient! After candlelighting, we went to shul with Reb Mordechai at the local Ashkenazi Beit Knesset, where there was a somewhat quick, but nice Kabbalat Shabbat davening. We came home and had an amazing Shabbat dinner filled with good food, zemirot, and divrei Torah. After Birkat hamazon, I read a little from Reb Mordechai's amazing Sefarim collection, and then got some nice shabbat menucha!
Shabbat morning, we woke up, had a snack and said ברכות השחר (Birkot Hashachar) since in Israel tefillot start with מזמור שיר (psalm 30). Shul started at 8:30 and even though we didn't go too fast, we were done davening by 10:30 even with a D'var Torah. We came home for lunch where we again had good food, zemirot and a d'var torah! I repeated the same process of the previous night of getting a nice nap, and before I knew it it was 4:20 and time to daven mincha. As per general practice in Israel, went back home for seudah shlishit, back to shul for ma'ariv, and home for Havdalah. Sadly, then, it was time to return to Beit Nativ, but this time we got a ride for Reb Motredchai's son Netanel. A belated שבוע טוב!

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