Friday, June 22, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday

--- 1 ---
This week some American Christian friends are visiting Israel, and we got to hang out a bit. Since their tour completely skips over Tzfat, we ended up taking them there. Tzfat (Safed) is one of the four holy cities of Judaism, home of Jewish mysticism, artists, and quite a bit of Jewish orthodoxy. 
--- 2 ---
One of the great things about Tzfat, for me, is that Tzfat was the city that gave us Lecha Dodi. See point 7 for it. Lecha Dodi is a song that we sing to welcome the Shabbat in. There are a million and one tunes for it, every chazzan (cantor) seems to have their own version. I have several well known ones that I love, including both versions by Aharon Razel, and this one by Six13.
--- 3 ---
Lecha Dodi, the lighting of the Shabbat candles, they all do the same: they usher in the Shabbat, that holy day that we were blessed with each week. Our candles--the Shabbat candles and the Havdalah candles--separate the divine from the mundane: and that is why G-d gave us the Shabbat, so we will have that one day each week set aside to experience the divine. 
--- 4 ---
Shabbat, while we don't strictly observe every ascpect of it, is full of the comfort of rituals and traditions for us. Blessing the challah and the wine, the family dinner, the special prayers... They just lift me up. 

--- 5 ---
While crocheting is not a Shabbat activity (far from it, really), I can't wait to finish the kipot I have been working on for the last week. I'Ll get the last piece I need to make them the way I want to, and then tomorrow morning we can wear them to synagogue. 
--- 6 ---
While in Tzfat I ran into an old rabbi I've known for a long time. We talked about what had happened since we last saw each other, and I told him that life forced me to drop out of rabbinical school--and I don't think I'll ever return. He was sad, and told me he wished I continued. That was rather odd, to be honest. 
--- 7 ---
Shabbat Shalom!
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