(This and the next few posts were written last week, which feels much longer ago. Shabbat is starting in a few hours, and we'll spend it with our sister congregation here in the Galilee. I fly back on Sunday!--it doesn't seem possible. I don't want to wake up just yet from this dream. More to follow.)
A boardwalk on the edge of a neighborhood of malls, hotels and big, sea-battered touristy restaurants. Sleepy bathers with sand still stuck to their legs, crying babies, happy dogs, everyone running up and down alongside the gently rolling ocean--and then a small forest of white plastic chairs facing the water and the big, sinking orange sun. Music of anticipation--a violin, a cello, the greetings and hugs of a gathering crowd of people in white. Our friends at this amazing new congregation create the same kind of electricity that brought me back--but Israeli style, for those stuck outside of a society divided in two. I don't know any of them but am shepping nachas, bursting with pride. Shabbat hovers over the waves as we sing and dance her in.
We eat dinner together, lots of fun even though I'm reminded that people from this country are not shy. They are loud. Some of them are rude. I like them just the same (except the ones outside my window at 3AM). We sit on the boardwalk and sing zemirot under a full moon that dances slowly behind thin grey clouds.