Ok let me start by admitting that prior to this trip I have never been to a Shabbat Dinner…Or a Shabbat anything for that matter… oh wait I did go to Friday night Services the night before my kids B’nei Mitzvah… But that covers it for my 52 years. So let me say that Shabbat in Jerusalem, in the Old City, is probably the most super charged version of Shabbat there is! It is probably on a whole new level.
Our morning sessions ended around 1. And that gave us a few hours break before the big. Event. While we shopped we made notice of the crowded vendors. Everyone gathering whatever. They needed. Because this city Shuts down after sunset! And stays shut until a. The following sundown.
At 6:00 we were back at the Aish building getting ready for our evening. It started with. A concert. Onto the stage walked a Satmar in full garb (Black long coat, Black fur hat). My initial response…Oy klezmer music…but then Rabbi Yom Tov starts rocking out to “Carry on my wayward son”. Then a little Crosby, Stills Nash and Young….and he was AWESOME. A funny side note: a group of young South African Aish Students were sitting behind us. As Rabbi Yom Tov started to sing Kansas’ Carry on my wayward son…one young man said to the other “Thank G-d for Guitar Hero. Otherwise I would never have known this song.” Ah, youth! Any Rabbi Yom Tov was just awesome…he sang Shabbat and Rock songs for an Hour…and got us ready to Take in Shabbat! You should all google Him – I don’t think my words will describe him well enough…he certainly is not the Tailor Motel Tem Zoyle… he is the Rocker Yom Tov!
Then we (all 200 hundred of us) headed to the Kotel to Dance and Sing in Shabbat. Our spirit was infectious. So much so that. The Birthright and Tallit groups joined in with our group. Not visa versa. see kids your mom’s are groovy! It was joyous and infectious and delicious!
Saturday morning was really on the top of my mornings. mainly because we were able to sleep in. The day was filled with lectures. Lori Palatnik spoke Jewish Values…frankly she said many wonderful and interesting things… But one of my favorites was “If a reason you had children is for “what they can do for you…you might as well get an English Butler…it will be cheaper”. Her talks are always laced with humor…truth but still funny. And then she introduced Rabbi Gabriel Friedman who talked to us 2x during the day… One about Shabbat and what is all about….and the other more focused on how Judaism can play a role in your life. Anyway talk about a funny guy. Take Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, and jimmy Fallon…mix them up…through on a suit and pais’….and you have him. His lectures were jammed packed and truly engaging.
After we were invited into homes for Shabbat lunch…then Shabbat dinner was in the home of Pamela and Aba Claman…so many world leaders of all types have been hosted by them. They are truly givers. They give of themselves to make the world better and frankly this Elizabeth Taylor looking women and Harrison Ford looking man are truly givers and inspirational.
The evening ended with a Havdallah service on their spectacular villa rooftop…overlooking the old city..a breathtaking view to end a. Glorious day!
What more is there to say except I hope you all had a good Shabbat. And if not, there is always next week!
If you get the chance google the Rabbi’s and see what I am talking about.