Here in Israel we are rejoicing over a very good start to our rain-season this year! This is the best beginning of the winter that we have had in over twenty years, as far as rain goes! This past Friday was one of those days when it just felt like the skies were open, and it just POURED big time! Thinking it was going to stay that way, I prepared hot chicken soup and hot apple cider for Shabbat, and we brought out all our puzzles to enjoy during this rainy Shabbat. And yes, Friday night was perfect in a warm home with comfort food and family fun with puzzles.
But come Shabbat morning, and the weather had cleared up quite a bit. It was still very cold, but the wind and the rain had moved on. So, as we say in this family, – there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, – we put on good, warm clothes and walked to the Western Wall, the Kotel. In the Women’s section, one could notice that a lot of the regulars had decided to stay home on this cold morning, so those of us who did make it out, were blessed to get the best seats, – all the way up close to the Wall!
I felt so privileged sitting there praying, looking up at the huge stones above me, and at the cracks next to me stuffed full of prayers written on notes. Those notes were soaked wet from all the rain that God has blessed us so richly with lately. I felt so deeply rich who got to sit right there and pray in anticipation:
ותחזינה עינינו בשובך לציון ברחמים. ברוך אתה ה” המחזיר שכינתי לציון
May our eyes behold Your return to Zion in compassion. Blessed are You, HASHEM, Who restores His Presence to Zion.
Then later, we got to hear the whole Torah Portion read right there, including the very exciting words: I am Josef! Those words carry within them the anticipation of the coming of our Mashiach, and He will say: I am the Mashiach!
Today, Sunday, is the tenth of Tevet, a fast day in the Jewish year, and I just listened to a very inspiring lecture about this day by Shira Smiles. She said that we have to live every day in the anticipation of the coming of the Mashiach, of the awaiting redemption, which she called ציפיית ישועה – TZIPIAT YESHUAH! The expectation of Salvation, of Yeshuah!
Wow! Isn’t it just so exciting to be alive??! To get to live and work towards such a wonderful hope! To get to be a part of something so much greater than ourselves!
- Shabbat at the Kotel. (teenainjerusalem.wordpress.com)
- Oh, Shabbat… (teenainjerusalem.wordpress.com)