Dear Friends,
I am writing to you from the beautiful city of Jerusalem as we prepare for Shabbat. Friday is a great day here because the whole mood of the city begins to change as people prepare for Shabbat.  Beginning on Thursday evening, you see people walking home with grocery bags full of food for Shabbat, people leaving work early on Friday to get ready and then suddenly things begin to get quiet on the streets around 4 PM. I am thrilled to be here with my family as we prepare to spend Shabbat together. Our plans include going to the Western Wall tonight for services and then to our cousins for Shabbat Dinner. 
One of the main reasons we came to Israel was to celebrate our son Ilan's becoming a Bar Mitzvah that happened yesterday. It was an incredible day as we gathered with about 50 of our friends and family at the Western Wall, on a platform near Robinson's Arch that allows for men and women to pray together.  We were honored to have both family and friends with us from many parts of our lives including all four of Ilan's grandparents, friends from high school, college, and rabbinical school.  It was also a special thrill to have a few friends from The Jewish Center who are in Israel for Passover join us as well. 
Our daughters' Talia and Dena served as the Gabayim and Ilan led the entire service, read from the Torah and shared his D'var Torah on the weekly portion. I had the opportunity to share some personal words with him about how fortunate we felt to be in this sacred place and to be surrounded by so many people we love. Our plan is to continue our celebration of Ilan becoming a Bar Mitzvah when we return to Princeton. He will be chanting the Haftorah on the first Day of Shavuot, Wednesday, May 31st and the congregation is invited to join us for that service and the luncheon to follow.
Sara and I feel so blessed to be here in Israel with our children. Talia is having a great semester with her 12th grade class. Dena is already talking about her next trip to Israel when she is in 12th grade and Ilan understands the significance to mark this moment in his life in this sacred place. As we prepare now for Shabbat and Passover that begins on Monday night, I will be thinking of all of you back at TJC. I wish you all a wonderful Shabbat and a joyous Passover. I am grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate many great moments with my family here in Jerusalem. At the Seder on Monday night, we will say, "This year in Jerusalem."  I wish you all a meaningful Seder surrounded by loved ones. I encourage you to consider coming to Israel at some point in the coming year so that you can experience what it is like to be here for Shabbat, for holidays or just an ordinary day.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach from Jerusalem
Rabbi Adam FeldmanDear Friends,

Posted: 4/7/2017 12:48:37 PM by | with 0 comments


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