Shabbat in Yerushalayim

By Mikayla Davis

Shabbat is one of the highlights of my week and is an even more unique experience on a pluralistic program in Israel. I love learning about everyone’s customs and the different ways in which he or she celebrates Shabbat. It has inspired me to think more deeply in ways in which I want to observe Shabbat. Spending Shabbat in Yerushalayim was especially meaningful because there were so many options for services in such a small radius. You could also feel the Shabbat spirit in the air.

After attending different synagogues for Kabbalat Shabbat, Rabbi Zeff’s processing group gathered at Jamie’s home for Shabbat dinner. We all were so appreciative to be welcomed by Jamie and his family for a delicious Shabbat meal. The relaxed atmosphere with Jamie’s and Rabbi Cohen’s families was such a nice change of pace.

Throughout the meal, we heard from a few fellows about the parshat hashavuah- Terumah. They explained how the parsha discussed that in the tabernacle the ark had two statues on top. The statues were called the kruvim and they looked like babies. The symbolism as to why the baby’s heads were on the aron hakodesh is that just like babies are excited to learn and have ample enthusiasm, we too should be excited and have enthusiasm when we study Torah. I really enjoyed hearing the commentary and learning from my peers in an informal setting.

After the meal, we sang our favorite Shabbat songs that we learned from camp, school, and heard new songs from other fellows. I loved sharing and partaking in these traditions which make Shabbat so scared. I am looking forward to the summer when I can teach these new songs at camp.


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