Saturday, June 2, 2012

Holy Lands Day 24: June 2. Shabbat American style

Disclaimer: my blog contains personal observations and the opinions, typos, and errors are mine alone. (The guides and tour leaders know their stuff.)

One of Beit Yehuda's terraces
W sleeps until after 10am. I can't write my blog in the dark so I read email and sneak off to breakfast. They're closed but send me upstairs for tea and cake, which turns out to be 2 thin endpieces of a marble poundcake. My greatest disappointment is that Beit Yehuda's pool is being renovated. They'll reopen it in 2 weeks. Bummer.

I chat with students and wait for W to get up. He ambles over at 10:30, comes back with snacks since there's no food left, and hangs out until the students order pizza for lunch.

Beit Yehuda
This is an experience. We have the pizza delivered outside the gates of our kosher guesthouse. No meat and cheese can be served together, nor served inside the hotel grounds if prepared in a non-kosher kitchen. If we'd bring a dish used for dairy and meat into the kitchen, the dish would have to be broken and the kitchen re-sanctified (up to $10,000 to have a rabbi come in to do it?) OR if the dish would be put in the sink with other dishes and they didn't know which one it was, all those dishes would have to be broken and the kitchen re-koshered. OR still worse, if the dishes were placed back into the kitchen and they didn't know which one it was, all the dishes would be discarded or have to be re-sanctified along with the kitchen. You get the picture.

We sit under a tree outside the hotel gates to eat our 7 pizzas among 14 people (after we find 400 shekels cash to pay for them. No Visa or dollars allowed so our previous collection is useless.) Gut bombs - Domino's cheese or pepperoni. I'd forgotten how disgustingly salty the pepperoni was! But the students moan and sigh with happiness at the American taste :-) I give some of my 4 pieces away. A bird scoops down and grabs a crust, flying over the hotel. We gasp. If he drops it on the hotel grounds, is it the will of God? asks someone.

Then it's up to the room for a few hours of catching up on the blog. Resting. Sabbath. Love it. God's good idea. Olympics on TV. W rests and looks up occasionally, reading novels on his iPhone.

After supper, Marc lectures about "The Son of Man" and Jesus' understanding of his role at that particular time of Jewish history. Honestly I kept thinking,"This man needs to write down what he knows!" His ideas deserve wider distribution and discussion among scholars and peers. 

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