Sunday, July 18, 2010

Not sure if I have the words...

... but I'll try. In thinking back through orientation last night, I forgot to try and convey a beautiful experience I'd just had.

A group of students got together for havdallah, the ceremony separating Shabbat from the rest of the week. Still being a bit overwhelmed and overstimulated by so much group time, I chose to go somewhere else instead.

Last summer, my Livnot group was taken to a rooftop on Mt. Zion to bring in our first shabbat as a group, and for many, the first shabbat they'd ever experienced. It was a place that I revisited many times last summer, with friends and alone. That roof became one of my favorite places here. Last night was my first time back this year.

I went an hour before shabbat ended, alternating between watching the sunset and watching the colors over the eastern hills change from gold to pink to purple-fading-into-a-rainbow to dark. I read from a book of Rebbe Nachman quotes given to me last summer during the month of Av, the current Hebrew month. I meditated on some of my hopes and goals for the year. I listened as the call to prayer came in, first from a single, distant mosque in East Jerusalem, and then from a multitude of nearby mosques there and in the Old City. As the call to prayer faded away, the abbey directly next to the building on which I was standing starting chiming its bells... and then there was silence as the last lights faded and the first stars appeared in the sky.

I had originally tried to get a few people to come with me, but in the end, I am really glad that I had the time to myself, to keep "my place" for me a bit longer, and to really have the space to reflect in my own time and to live just briefly in some of the memories that surfaced from being there... I can't live in those memories all the time, but it was a nice visit...

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