Here I am, back in Jerusalem, after a joyful reunion with Nechama, my cat… looking through the many photographs that remind me of the stay in Eish Kodesh, and the numerous trips we took around the country. There are holy days, and certain special occasions when it is not permitted to photograph. So, not everything I’ve experienced in the last month has been recorded. In fact, some of the finest moments have been stored away, only in my memory. But even so, It is very difficult to choose a few illustrations with which to describe my latest adventure in the holiday spirit.
It’s been a long period of holidays. It all started with the beginning of our new year on Tuesday evening, the 27th of September. And one holiday was followed by another till yesterday, when we celebrated the last day of tabernacles, and a very special holiday which marks the conclusion of our reading of the five books of Moses, and the beginning of a new reading, which will last throughout the year to come. Since today is Friday, no one goes to work. It’s the start of our weekend. And then after the Sabbath, we will all go back to work, and back to our day to day lives. Though I have had a great time throughout the holidays, it feels very good to get back to normal.
Looking back at the last month, the experiences seem so intense, that it is very difficult to encompass it all… even in my thoughts and memories. It could have been a lifetime, it seems. There were the ups and downs, even though it was a holiday. There were news items that gladdened my heart, and others that caused me deep grief.
But when looking at the whole of it, I think the most powerful experiences were the meetings with different people. Our sages said that a single person is like a whole world. And I was very aware of that during this period. In recent years, I spend more of my time alone, or with a very few people, than I did most of my life.
My meetings with many people during the last month stimulated much thought, and imagination, and great waves of emotion. There were times when I had to retire, after a long day, or after a long conversation, because I was simply tired. But then lying in my bed, I thought of so many things that hadn’t been said, questions that hadn’t been asked… and there was the desire to go back and continue, though I didn’t have the strength to do so.
I remember one occasion, when I was in a room full of people, with my head in a book. Not speaking to anyone… and yet very aware of the vibes in the place, and opening myself up to those vibes was like listening to a symphony, exquisitely performed. There was a perfect balance of spirits in that room.
I will be glad to get back to my normal life style. As usual, a lot of work and obligations have been pushed aside till ‘after the holidays’, as we often say. But this year, at least, I feel that I am returning to my normal life, much strengthened by the experience. I have made some resolutions, but haven’t told them to anyone. Because it would be too embarrassing if I failed completely. But I do have the feeling that this long break, and the many intense experiences, have prepared me for a new beginning, and I’m very optimistic.
All of the pictures in this post are of my grandchildren. But there are still quite a few that I didn’t get in.