Two Shabbatot: Israel and America

May 1, 2015

Every week, Jody Hirsh, the JCC's Judaic Education Director, provides a Judaic message that is featured at the top of the JCC's weekly email newsletter. Below is the Shabbat message for Friday, May 1, 2015.

Two Shabbatot: Israel and America

Yesterday, the JCC Israel Arts Tour returned from Israel. What a contrast. Last Shabbat we were in Jerusalem – our Shabbat dinner was with “Lone Soldiers” – a meaningful, even emotional dinner with soldiers who had no family in Israel to go home to for Shabbat. Some of them were new young immigrants who came from America and other countries. Some were Israelis whose families had moved away from Israel. And some from families who didn’t approve of them joining the army. They told amazing stories – and we were so impressed by their strength and commitment. This Shabbat, we’re all back in our homes, celebrating Shabbat as we do back in our own American milieus. There will be no “Shabbat Siren” marking sunset and the entry of Shabbat. Stores and restaurants will all be open offering the usual distractions. For many of us, Shabbat is just another day – or perhaps another weekend. It’s no longer set apart as it is in Israel for religious and non-religious alike. Our rhythms are back to rhythms in world time, Diaspora time. In America, Shabbat is a special effort.

The JCC Arts Tour on a Tel Aviv street corner

The walls of Jerusalem

Borekas – a small part of an Israeli breakfast

A Tel Aviv morning while we prepare to return to Milwaukee

Photos By: Adrienne Nerad and Shari Robins

 Shabbat Shalom