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Sometimes a few words are worth a thousand pictures

(DUE TO BANDWIDTH PROBLEMS I DON’T HAVE VIDEO FOR YOU THIS WEEK, BUT CHANA IS OUR GUEST CONTRIBUTOR AND HER WORDS ARE WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES… SHMUEL)

I’m writing from the patio of my house in Yavniel. I’ve got my computer set up outside and I’m trying to concentrate on it but my eye keeps getting pulled to the vista before me. Patchwork farmland dotted with olive groves and almond trees; a tractor in the distance traversing a field.  The sky is ‘Israeli’ blue, the air fresh and scented with jasmine and all seems right with the world. So many different kinds of birds are tweeting their own special language, no doubt celebrating this exceptionally beautiful day.

I met a very interesting woman yesterday named Dalia Rosenberg. She is a well know artist in Israel, who was born in Yavne’el and currently has her studio here. She explained that the name of our little town means ‘G-d builds’. It certainly ‘feels’ like The Almighty is here.

While out walking yesterday, I was greeted with a smile by everyone I met. Whether clothed in head scarves, sleeves and knee length dresses, or jeans and t-shirts, every women I passed said hello. And even the men greeted me. I am a new face in the neighborhood and I had the impression they wanted me to feel welcome.

We attended a Yom Hazikaron ceremony (Remembrance Day) yesterday, in the cemetery in Degania with graves dating back to 1902. Degania is  one of the oldest settlements in Israel, right by the Kinneret and just down the road from our village. Wooded benches and plastic stools were set out under a canopy of expansive branches from trees so wide you’d need three people holding hands to circle their trunks.  Kaddish was said and the military rabbi from the area spoke about the soldiers partnering with G-d to protect Israel. Our son’s army unit was part of the ceremonies.  Along with 13 other soldiers he fired his gun in the air in salute.

I walked around Yavne’el later on, filming the preparations for Yom Ha’atz’ma’ut (Independence Day). After sunset, we sat on our porch overlooking the valley and watched, as under a crescent moon, the elementary school kids carry torches in single file down the mountain behind our house. . They joined  the celebrants already gathered in the field outside the community center for the evening’s celebrations. We enjoyed listening to the program from our porch and had a front row seat for the fireworks.

I have to pinch myself everyday to make sure it’s all real and I’m finally home.
Chana

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One Response to “Sometimes a few words are worth a thousand pictures”

  1. robin first says:

    Awesome and Beautiful. Really working on being in Israel August. G-d willing! I’m willing anyway, which I guess is nine tenths of the equation. Maybe not, but I’m not standing in the way.