Friday, July 28, 2006

Day 1: Arrival in Tsfat

Arrival in Tsfat

Friday: July 21, 2006

I arrived in Israel to learn that five more soldiers were being buried today. I went to the funeral of one of them--Benjy Hillman, a 26 year old son of British immigrants who was married just three weeks ago. The rabbi of Pardes Hanna where Benjy had studied, noted that we would be soon welcoming the Shabbat bride. “Just three weeks ago Benjy said to Ayala, Bo-ee Kallah-Come, My Bride. Today it’s being said in heaven,” he sobbed.

We left the funeral to travel to Tsfat where I’m spending Shabbat with Aharon and Miriam Botzer, the founders of the extraordinary Livnot U'lehibanot program. I'm here with my colleagues, YCT student, Yonah Berman and Rabbi Adam Scheier and around 25 others who came to be with the Jews under attack in the north.

Tsfat is quite empty, and those who remain in the city that has sustained many, many Katyusha attacks over the past few days, are in bomb shelters.

When I look north, I can see the smoke of today's Katyushas. We have been warned that more Katyusha's are expected in the hours right before the start of Shabbat, and we're ready to go into the shelter when the siren sounds.

Miriam and Aharon note that many people from Tsfat have been offered housing in the communities of Ofra, Beit El and Gush Etzion--all over the Green Line.

Miriam reminded me as we prepared for Shabbat, that she experienced her first Yom Hashoah commemoration at the Bayit, in Riverdale.

May we all experience a Shabbat of peace.

Introduction: Diary Of Rabbi Avi Weiss' Week Long Trip In Israel
Day 1: Arrival in Tsfat
Day 2: Shabbat in Tsfat
Day 3: Haifa
Day 4: Tiberias and Nahariya
Day 5: Tsfat and Raanana
Day 6: Sderot, Kiryat Gat and Jerusalem
Day 7: Haifa and The Shomron

Diary of Rabbi Avi Weiss' Return Trip To Israel--Following the Ceasefire

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