FIRST (1/2) WEEK, FIRST SHABBAT July, 2007
The feeling is not the usual, pull my personal Zionist heart string cries that dwell in my heart and in my tear ducts these days. It’s something with far more richness, maturity and wonder.
As I watch my children begin to feel their own natural connection to the land and its way of life, I feel like I have transmitted more than my historical, traditional or religious heritage to them, we are watching an innate process of highly personal attachment and emotional heritage.
Spent some beautiful time with friends and cousins. The kid’s genuine sense of family, and their devoted love to their little cousins, was precious to behold. They went to the “mercaz” (center) together for ice cream and playground time, and we felt the wonder of their independence – as all Israeli kids feel – along with the giggle of their ‘childhood’.
The ‘downtime’ or REAL time we have been able to experience as a family has been rare, precious and OH so highly valued in these few short days. Shopping, cooking, walking, laughing — really just “being” in Jerusalem and doing what I am focused more on now than ever – being PRESENT – has made me experience and love the moments – the time here has felt like a second or a million years – timeless…
We watched Dag Nachash (a top Israeli hiphop band) leader, composer introduce his new “Shaanan Street” jazz band to Jerusalem right before Shabbat came in. The setting of the concert offered a spirit I have never felt. Overlooking the old city walls (from the ‘rooftop’s) at Mishkenet Shaananim, we ‘got’ the creative energy of this country. The emotion and struggle within each musician that are deeply part of the struggle of our people here – this is where Jewish ‘blues’ were created….
The food, the people, the shuk (outdoor market), the streets – my kids drink up every morsel of their surroundings. We all feel so ‘at home’ in our relative’s beautiful home, and we have let the fresh air – even though I feel the weight of it’s intensity – embrace and enrich us.
Another beautiful memory for the ‘diary’ — with more friends and more family, who spent the night with us on our second night here. My best friend and I sat on the Mirpeset (porch) with all of our kids and were part of creating a carefree, non-judged, silliness that can only take place with best friends who love from the smallest and largest corners of their hearts… even observing and enjoying how our growing young adults can make fun of their respective moms with a true sense of who we are to them and to one another. The respect and unconditional love allowed the laughter of the night to fill the courtyard with abounding joy.
My daughter celebrated her birthday with feasts she has never experienced – both at an incredible Jerusalem restaurant and at Kabbalat Shabbat dinner last night.
Singing at our cousin’s house with their gentle, adoring kids – was also a natural part of their Shabbat – a feeling of ‘coming home in this land’. The boys & men went to the Sephardic Syngogugue across the street. They got to experience Lecha Dodi in the Iraqi nusach (jewish tune) surrounded by another 100 or so Sephardic men. Each and every member of the ‘clan’ who arrived home was transformed in his own way by the melodies that recalled dad’s stories of a childhood rich in traditions.
And now it is Shabbat. The peace of the city air embraces your senses (even though we all live with morsels of underlying fears and knowledge that peace is ethereal)….I have done what I can to express how wonderful it is to be here…. But words cannot possibly convey my deepest joy and content.
Stacey Krone-Battat is the President and Co-founder of KIWI Publishing, a company whose mission is to inspire individuals personally and professionally – empowering them in their own lives and helping them impact the lives of others.
A central piece and passion in Stacey’s work is currently in collecting real life stories of life changing moments, called “Thin Threads™.” For more information or to get in touch with Stacey, visit www.kiwipublishing.com.