Home Sweet Home.
Home. Jet lagged. Happy.
It’s 4:00 am and I am wide awake. We arrived back on Maui yesterday. I knew our trip to Israel would have an impact on our life. While I still unpack and get our Maui life back in order I’ll be posting and sharing thoughts about our trip and observations.
Today, when we arrived I saw a hotel that is being built in Kahului near the airport. When we departed Maui on December 9th there was no hotel there…now it had been framed and roofed. WOW, that was fast. When were were in Israel there are no major box box stores. In Israel you support small business and farmers markets. They have grocery stores, butchers, flower stores, bakeries and liquor stores.
I decided to make dinner one night for my family. First to the butcher for meat. Then to the bakery for bread and the market for fresh vegetables and finally to the florist for flowers. No one stop shop.
Can you imagine Maui without shopping at the big box stores?
Jerusalem on Christmas. We visited several important holy sites in Jerusalem. On Christmas we visited the Wailing Wall, The Wall or in Hebrew known as the the KOTEL.
It was cold and pouring rain so we decided to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Six denominations of Christianity are represented here, each with distinct chapels and religious sites under one massive roof. Included is the site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.
Many of you know I’m Jewish but honor and respect all religions. I was emotionally moved by visiting this church. First it’s so old, officially built ad326 then many rooms were added on over the next several hundred years. Then to see so many different people, all ages and walks of life being so moved emotionally. Everyone was there for a specific purpose, probably for different reasons all woven together. Each time I looked at someone we all communicated with our eyes and body language that felt like the same language. Everyone walked with purpose and respect.
The entire church is very large with 20 or 30 rooms added over over the years. The entire church is lit by candles. One huge dome appears in what seems like the center with a skylight at the top. During our visit an Organ was being played. It was massive in size and sound which added an emotional layer to our visit. I never wanted to leave and not because it was cold and rainy outside but because I felt a comfort and connection with my surroundings.
On the floor just inside the church is a piece of pink marble. It is where (it is said) the body of Jesus was cleansed and prepared for burial. This man was adding oil to the lamps that hung over the pink marble. Many people came and touched the stone while showing an outpouring of emotion. I placed my hand there and the rest of my visit will remain private.
Shabbat is the most important Jewish holiday that comes each week. It begins Friday night at sunset and ends at sunset on Saturday when 3 stars are visible in the evening sky with a naked eye. Living on Maui it’s easy to forget to observe this holiday but in Israel there is no denying this.
On Friday afternoon flower stands spring up along the highway and on many street corners. You see men buying flowers to take home, a lovely gesture. The grocery stores are busy and everyone is rushing home to have dinner ready and to usher in the holiday.
Buses stop. Taxi cabs are impossible to find and stores close. G-d has commanded us to stop and rest. On Maui, I forget to observe this holiday. But in Israel you almost have no choice. And it’s a really nice holiday. The TV, computer and phone all goes off. You stay home with family & friends. Go to the park and nap.
Lily at the shuk in Israel
Wow. That was my first thought when I turned the corner at the Carmel Market and saw a market stall overflowing with buckets of candy. Surprisingly, there were five or six of these stalls along the main street. And of course, if this booth was important enough to take a picture with we had to purchase some candy too. My brother, Noah picked out some sour sticks filled with sweet paste. It was very good :). If you happen to stop by Israel anytime soon, I highly recommend a visit one of these stalls.
We took a bus to the Carmel Market yesterday or as locals call it the Shuk (shoo-k). It’s like a flea market, craft fair, open-air art gallery, farmers market, concert, and restaurant all rolled into one. I took a video but couldn’t load it to this blog (still so new to blogging) but if you visit my facebook you can see the market from my point of view. It’s really a cool video.
I was hoping to discover some rare fruit or vegetable that I had never seen before. I really hoped to find a exotic “something” to share with you but found common foods. The exception were pomegranates were as large as my face. They juiced them whole right in front of us. Super sweet and full of flavor. Olives and spices were abundant as well as olive oil. The best find of the day were fresh roasted sunflower seeds, supersized.
Our main reasons to visit Israel was to see our family, to eat plus to get into the local culture. Today we want to visit a museum, still trying to decide which one. There are 11 to choose from within walking distance. There are more museums in Israel, per capita than anywhere else in the world.
Israel, day one. After 29 hours of flying time we arrived. I broke the trip up stopping in Seattle, Detroit, Amsterdam and then Israel. I could never fully explain how tried we all feel. But we arrive at 2:30 a.m. in Israel to a warm reception. Had a good sleep and now making our way out to the store and taking a walk. It was cool and sunny. I’ll post some pictures of the grocery store tomorrow. For now, it dinner and conversation with family.
My Front Yard.
Yes, here’s a view of my front year. We face east and always see the sunrise. Over the past week I have experienced a shift in the weather. It’s much cooler and the color of the ocean has changed. I am grateful that no one will ever build and block my view. Tell me…what does your front yard look like?