Friday, July 11, 2008

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Shabbat is descending on Jerusalem. Hallah and flowers are sold on the street corners. Stores close early. Young students are picked up on street corners by family and friends to make their way to their Shabbat destinations before the setting of the sun. The sound of traffic dissipates with the approach of evening. Shabbat menucha (rest) and oneg (joy) descend on the city. Soon families will walk to friends' homes for dinner. Tomorrow morning the streets will be filled with men hurrying to synagogue with the sails of tallisim flowing behind them. There is a fervor of Shabbat joy among the people of Jerusalem and the feeling of Shabbat rest on its streets. Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!
ADDENDUM
Saturday evening the city and its streets return to life. Shabbat goes out around 830 pm. By 9 pm people, cars and buses return to the streets. By 11 pm crowds fill the restaurants and cafes. Here the rhythm of Shabbat is mirrored in its architecture. The pulse of Jewish life moves through the streets and alleys of Jerusalem. This city, the soul of the Jewish people returns to activity. The smell of wild rosemary fills our nostrils as the memory of havdalah spices dissipate.

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