The day after...
Jerusalem and Temple Mount Redemption Day 5771
Tuesday night, I had planned on praying at Reshimu, in Nahla'oth, and then listen to a shi'ur given by Rabbi Shmu'el (ben Mordechai Tzemah ztz"l) Eliyahu of Tzfath. Reshimu has an outdoor venue, beautiful and serene, the perfect place for prayer, meditation, contemplation, or socializing. I recommend the Thursday night "jam sessions." It is about as close as you can get to a frum night club, if such a thing exists. Yet, the "meat market" atmosphere often associated with clubs was absent. Homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches were on the menu, along with an invitation to bring your musical instruments.
Check out Reshimu's Website and Facebook Group for information on classes, social, and Shabbath prayer schedules.
Feng Shui Note: I rate this venue as Good, with only one or two, minor problems. Inside is Good, but not as good. Still, it is a pleasant and positive atmosphere.
As it happens, I was running late, so I decided to head on over to Kol Rina, on the western side of Nahla'oth. I find the people and the gabbai to be very nice and welcoming. Rosh Hodesh, Hol HaMo'ed, Israeli Independence Day, and today, Jerusalem Day are special days at Kol Rina, for that is when members of the community bring their musical instruments to the beth k'nesseth, and enhance their prayers and Hallel with accompaniment.
I was tired for some reason, and so I left early. The sometimes crowded bomb shelter space is not for everyone. My favorite event so far was Kol Rina's Hanukkah party, which was co-sponsored by NachlaOr, and featured a variety of musical performers, latkes, and micro-brewery beers.
Continuing in the spirit of trying to lighten up, I have been increasingly testing the waters of attendance at "mixed" social events. (Oy Gevald!)
So, after helping fellow blogger Yoel Meltzer (Everyone, please visit his blog!) with some networking tips this morning, I decided to check out the Jerusalem Day Barbecue at Ezra Amichai's Jerusalem Soul Center. I only stayed for a while, because I was meeting other friends later in town, something which had been arranged quite some time ago.
When I arrived, many people were in the living room singing, with accompaniment from local musician Maury Epstein, and others. Ezra made a brief d'var Torah about the unification of the Holy City of Jerusalem, I ventured upstairs, attracted by the scent of barbecue. I discovered more people, and an incredible view of Saqqer Park and the K'nesseth.
Vegetarians would be happy to know that they were not to be left out! Vegie burgers, pasta, beans, salads, and roasted garlic were on the menu, in addition to marinated chicken breast and hot dogs.
Apparently, I had missed out on Matthew's Sushi. Well, there's always next time.
After saying hello to several friends, and meeting one or two new ones, it was time for me to move on.
Coming back outside, after meeting with friends Downtown, the sun was setting, and the evening, desert breezes began to whip through Zion Square. People continued to stroll up and down Yaffo Street, and file through Ben-Yehudah Street, among the musicians, stores, and occasional street vendor.
My day ended with a series of crowded buses passing us by. They were already too full of those returning from the Old City, to pick up any more passengers. When one finally did stop for us, it was a chore to get on, and to secure a place even just to stand. Eventually, I could feel that my fellow passengers, like myself, had finally surrendered to the uncomfortable ride home.
I was grateful to reach my stop, the end of a very special, yet relaxed, Jerusalem Day.