Saturday, July 23, 2016

Israel 2016 - Jerusalem, Day 4 Part 1 - Western Wall

I took a day off from walking around Jerusalem to drive up to the biblical city of Tsfat in the Galilee. The place is steeped in the tradition of Jewish mysticism. Last year when I was there I found a weaver's studio that made beautiful tallesim, but I thought they were too expensive for me. From the next day for more than a year I regretted not getting one. Went to the website often to look at the selection and vowed that the next opportunity I had I would go again and purchase one. I had selected a couple of styles that I wanted to see and feel. I looked at them and wore them in the gallery, but there was one in particular that I hadn't considered that just cried out to me. I tried it on and was immediately sold on it. Of course it was the most expensive one in the gallery. But no matter. When I tell people about the experience, I say that I can't take the money to the grave with me, but I can take the tallis (it's traditional for Jewish men to be buried in their tallis). I couldn't take the tallis with me because it had to be custom woven and embroidered with my hebrew name. But now that I have it, I'm so pleased that I splurged on it.

The next day in Jerusalem was Thursday. That's a special day at the Kotel in the Old City because it's one of the days that the Torah is read, and many boys come with their families to the Wall to have their bar mitzvah. I'd had the chance on the previous Monday to take some shots of boys reading the Torah, but that was just a rehearsal for this day. My next post will be of those shots. But there were many other people at the Wall, including many IDF soldiers.