Friday, March 21, 2008

We dig Israel!

We arrived in Israel in a beautiful sunny morning. After a brief stop at the tank museum in Latrun, we had a beautiful brunch at Pinat Shorashim, on the grounds of Kibbutz Gezer. Pinat Shorashim is an educational garden - simply beautiful - and the site of Israel's first baseball field.

Then we headed to Beit Guvrin for "dig for a day." Archaeological Seminars was founded by Bernie and Fran Alpert, of Highland Park, IL, as a chance for regular people to really experience archaeology in Israel. Everyone in our group really enjoyed digging in the caves and finding shards of pottery.

Then we went "spelunking" through some unexcavated caves. The hardy souls who squeezed themselves through these honeycomb caves had a great time exploring. (And getting very dirty in the process!)

Then we headed to Jerusalem and sopped at Montefiore's Windmill to overlook the Old City and say Shehecheyanu - the blessing for special moments.

Personally - this spot is very significant because it is the site where my husband proposed to me!!! Overlooking our favorite is probably my favorite spot in the world. I can't wait to stand there someday with my children and God willing my grandchildren, as so many in our group did.

We checked into our hotel and cleaned up a bit before dinner and a little Purim celebrating, followed by a trip to the Western Wall Tunnels, the excavation of the Temple Mount along the Western Wall (Kotel). Everyone was exhausted and most headed to bed.

I went over (with Rabbi Steve) to the Ben Yehuda area to check out some of the Purii
m festivities (more on Sunday, since we are in Jerusalem) and have frozen yogurt. We ran into my brother in his goofy costume. In true Israeli fashion, he is celebrating Purim all over - tonight here in Yerushalayim, tomorrow in Tel Aviv and then back to his kibbutz.

It is so awesome to see all the costumes and festivities on the street and know that it is for OUR holiday OUR celebration! It is Purim, a holiday celebrating Jewish preservation and resilience, that is being observed with such glee and gaiety! - direct you to an interesting comment on this topic from
Frume Sarah (do these links work? I'm doing this from my bberry via email) on Tuesday
...and then finally to bed! Whew! What a day!

A long and wonderful introduction to our trip!!!!


Karen said...

I noticed that you said "beautiful" three times in your first paragraph. Luring me to my own experience this summer . . .

Marci B. said...

Have a wonderful time! Shabbat Shalom, Chag Purim Sameach, and bring back some of that wonderful Israel feeling for us.

Rivster said...

Yayayay -- what fun!! You are so lucky to be in the Homeland for Purim where the chag lasts and lasts!! Can't wait to hear more :)