Before I begin this entry, I wanted to share another article about kaddish, from my favorite online magazine, Tablet. Kudos to my friend Jacques for sending.
http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/118710/the-last-kaddish/2?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews
We arrived in Eretz Yisrael last week to visit Jordana, Roee and our sabra grandson, Erez. Hard to believe that I started saying kaddish here in Israel nearly 7 months ago, time is really flying quickly this year. It was a difficult trip to say the least back then. As shiva ended, Maia and I literally ran to the airport to catch a flight to Israel to be in time for Jordana’s delivery of our first grandchild…. an emotionally exhaustive experience. Yet unforgettable.
Its been a painful year, but one that I want to hold on to and, through this blog, share with others. Losing a parent is a rite of passage for which no one is prepared. Yet mourning has become a time of community sharing for me this year. The worshipers who answered “awmayn” to my kaddish each shacharit, mincha and maariv this year have become my extended family.
So here we are, back in Eretz Yisrael……

Erez turns 7 months shortly and I felt its time Zayde teaches him how to throw a ball. We’ve since discovered he’s a lefty like me, so we’ll definitely be working on the curve and slider for starters.

 

Maia and Erez
Maia and I have always considered ourselves “Tel Avivites” in that we lived in Tel Aviv back in 78/79 when we first met and have many of our closest friends living in and around the “The White City”.
However, Jordana and Roee are living now in the lower Galilee, on Kibbutz Kfar Hahoresh. For those who know the Emek region in Northern Israel, its a Kibbutz close to Ramat Yishai. Beautiful, quaint and very friendly. Unfortunately Tel Aviv probably won’t be in the cards for us at this point, as the shlep is too far for babysitting each day/night. So…. we are soon to become Haifaites.
Erez in Kibbutz makeshift stroller
Erez in Kibbutz Stroller
We decided to stay at Dan Carmel Hotel on Hanasi Street which conveniently has 2 shuls that are walking distance from us. Its been over 20 years since we last stayed here with a Federation mission from Chicago. The famous old Le Ronda Restaurant is now a beautiful shul used for Shabbat Services with a scenic panarama windowed room overlooking the Haifa Bay and Med Sea.
Beit Knesset Hagadol Haifa is where I am going for mincha/maariv.
Beit Knesset Hagadol Haifa
Beit Knesset Hagadol Haifa  2
My early 6:00 morning minyans are at Beit Knesset Shvurtz.
Beit Knesset Shvirtz sign
I really enjoy davening here as its an interesting combination of ashkenazi and sephardi rolled into one small shul. The davening is ashkenaz, yet they choose to read from a sephardic torah.
Beit Knesset ShvirtzBeit Knesset Shvirtz 2
Beit Knesset Shvirtz  3
Beit Knesset Shvirtz  4
All the minyanaires in the morning are local Israelis, no Anglos. So I’m able to refine my hebrew as we converse each morning before and after davening.
I am also going to mincha minyans in Migdal HaEmek, a town not far from Jordana’s Kibbutz. I found several shuls here and it has come in handy during the late babysitting hours when I cant dash back in time to Haifa
Beit Knesset Hagadol Migdal Emek
Beit Knesset Hagadol Migdal Emek 2
Before we left back to the States, I made it a point to visit Ohel Yaakov Synagogue in Zichron Yaakov, the shul I davened at for the month I was in Israel following my mother’s shiva. I wanted to visit many of the folks I befriended back then and also see the plaques that Maia and I purchased in memory of our parents, that the shul notified me had been afixed to the wall.
Ohel Yaakov Synagogue
My last kaddish in Israel this morning, of course, at the Kotel with some local yeshiva bochurs
Davening at the Kotel
and then a quick goodbye to the Foreign Minister
Avigdor Lieberman
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