On last shabat I’ve been to Tzfat (Safed) with Rosh Yehudi.
OK, nu, it took us 6 hours to get there instead of 2. We met in Tel Aviv at 9:45. I knew we won’t leave at 10. But I hoped, maybe at 11. We left at 11:15. OK. Then we were picking up some people on the way. Fine. After half an hour we stopped at M-haderech shopping mall. Why? ’cause someone had to go to the toilettes. “Only 5 minutes” they said. I smiled, and told them it won’t work, but let’s see… After half an hour when everyone got back (and showed the two trousers they bough in FOX “2 for 160, a good deal”) we continued our way to the north. Then after Yokneam we turned right and stopped at every petrol station. Why? We didn’t know. But it’s quite annoying when you’re sitting 15 minutes on a bus that’s not moving and doesn’t have air conditioning, isn’t it? Then 5 minutes, and another stop… What the hell is going on here? It turned out that they’re looking for a source. Well finally we found they said. Ein HaShofet. It’s here, you have to walk this direction, and you’ll see it after 100 meter, they said. We only saw there something that looked like a place where they collect the used water of the city :( After 20 minutes we decided to go on to Tzfat, ’cause the bus driver doesn’t agree to take us to the Kineret (as the original plan was) ’cause it’s not on the way to Tzfat. In about 30 minutes someone has to go to the toilette. NO!!!!!!!!!! Again? Please don’t! Or at least not in a shopping mall! There are trees next to the road, or I don’t know what, but don’t let them again to a shopping mall! But indeed we stopped in a shopping mall next to Karmiel. “Only 5 minutes! And everyone who doesn’t have the 220 Shekel in cash please get it from a bankomat!” (Well I already got it in Tel Aviv, while waiting for 1:30…) Whatever. Ok, now the time is 14:40. Be here in 5 mintes! Hehehe, I looked at my watch… let’s see if we leave before 15:00… Well not exactly. We left at 15:20. And obviously the girl who really-really had to go to the toilette came back with a hugh plastic bag full of newly bought stuff. Very necessary, ’cause in Tel Aviv the same things are probably would cost 5 Shekels more (though 30 minutes less and 30 people less would’ve wait for her). Finally we got to Tzfat at 16 something. In 6 hours could’ve reached Eilat!!!
We got to our place, then the boys wanted to go to Ari’s mikve. Ok, let’s B cool, let’s see it. “You don’t need anything to bring, maybe a towel” they said. Ok. So I took my towel. And waited for the oters. Waited. Waited. But you know, after 6 hours of waiting, you kind of waited enough for your whole life, and anyway as an Israeli I have the right to be unpatient! So I decided not to wait more and left with someone. It was very refreshing (cold water), was interesting. Many “dirty” jews jumping in it (getting out spiritually “clean”, I wonder where all the dirt went). Candle lighting at 18:00, so we had enough time to get back. On the way we met a funny breslevnik. We gave him tzedaka and he started to tell us everything he knew. Well you’d think it took him a long-long time. Hmmm, yes indeed. He was searching every word. Either was drunk or got sun-burnt or I don’t know what, and I think it would’ve taken him a bit less time to explain himself in Russian. As a good hasid he could also recite the sources. Well at least some of it. Ok, he didn’t really remember the sentence, but it’s in Masechet Sanhedrin… (serious guy, isn’t he?)… 1st chapter, 1st page. Ah, now I understand! Well after 20 minutes of talking about nothing, and using the 10 Hebrew words he knew, I decided to leave my friends with him and climb up a bit higher (geographically and spiritually) to the holy old city of Tzfat, back to our place. Anyway standing there under the sun is not that cool as the mikve was, and I also started to forgot Hebrew (though my Russian didn’t came back yet) and shabat is also getting closer. I forgot to mention that our house was 100 meters from the Carlibach synagouge, which is cool, ’cause anyway Rosh Yehudi, Carlibach… fits! But they told us that we don’t go there, ’cause there’s no place for us (true, half of the people always stand outside in the street, they even have a curtain to separate the boys and the girls outside :) so we’ll go to another place. Where? They’ll show us, be prepared at 18:00, they’ll pick us up. Well at 18:30 we (the boys) decided that we’re not waiting more for the girls to pick us up, so we started to look for a minyan. We also met the girls on the way. And finally we got to the desired minyan. Guess where it was? Yes, on the street! We started our mincha, though they were already sinding the psalms, but you know, in the street everyone can do what he wants, so we just moved 10 meters forward, and prayed. Later we joined them…
… and it was a really nice kabalat shabat. We were standing on a place where you can look to west and see the sun going down (well, those who started on time:) and sing Lecha Dodi and feel exactly like the kabalists felt hundreds of years ago, when they have started the minhag of singing Lecha Dodi as today they do all over the world. After kabalat shabat all the people started to go home. I mean after “kabalat shabat”, not after “arvit”. ??? Ok, it turned out, that they go up to a squere, dance a bit, and then they continue in the yeshiva. Ok, in Tzfat you don’t argue with traditions, right? We had a really nice prayer there. Afterwards someone has discovered some interesting stuff on the wall. Someone saw we’re looking at it, and explained that these are different kinds of “tzitzit” according to this and that rabbi. The dinner was really nice (even the food is better than in Tel Aviv:)
In the morning we went to the Carlibach shul. Nice prayer, as usual. Then at 11 we had to meet at the squere, where the arrange us families that invited us. We went with a young guy. A long-long way down to the new city. On the way he showed us where is Meron in the neighbouring hills. We had a really great shabat meal, he has a baby-boy “Yosef Hai” in Jazmin’s age :)
After the meel we had some time to rest (but we were talking, not resting, as usual) and then we met the guy who explained us the previous night about the tzitzits, and he took us on a trip in the old city. Very funny guy :) We learned a bit about Tzfat’s history, and a story about “lechem hapanim”.
After shabat I decided not to get back with the bus, there was a place in someone’s car and they took me. We went to Meron, to see Rashbi’s grave. Rashbi is a famous tzadik, he wrote the Zohar (the basic book of kabala) while he was hinding from the romans in a cave during 40 years and ate the fruit of a tree (majomkenyérfa :) It was full of breslev hasids who came there a day before Yom Kipur to pray. You don’t believe how it is! You get into a place which looks more like a library, on the side people are praying next to the wall. It turned out that that’s the grave. Next to it 2 tables, and people starting to eat (even invited us) I also read a “prayer for match” then we went on with the car. On the way I decided to go with them to Jerusalem to the Kotel.
We got to Latrun quite fast, and in the last kilometers before Jerusalem we slowed down. Ok, this is the motzei shabat usual traffic jam… Well it wasn’t! It turned out that we were not the only naives who thought it’s a good time to say the last slichot at the Kotel before Yom Kipur. The whole city was a hugh, but I mean HUGH or even HUGH traffic jam. We should’ve gone by foot, but when we realized this it was impossible to find any parking place. The whole area around the old city was closed by the police. So we gave up and went home… Herby I forgive for the other million people that were there and took our parking place ;)
I wish you all an easy fast and gmar hatima tova!