Shavuah Tov from Yerushalayim! Thursday was beyond amazing! First, it is just so amazing to be here in the holy land and I could not be more excited. I will only be writing about certain parts from this day as Aidan and I split the responsibilities.
I will start with a part of our tour of the old city of Jerusalem! After our DELICIOUS falafel and prayers at the kotel, we roamed the streets of the old city which was just so amazing! As we roamed, we came across four attached, traditional, Sephardic synagogues which we got to tour! They were such beautiful synagogues! After about ten minutes, we heard a loud musical processional approaching for a bar mitzvah which was an experience filled with so much ruach and fun! They had some very fun tunes and musical instruments. One thing that really stuck out to me was their Torah, which had a silver, cylinder-shaped case around it. It was a traditional Sephardic Torah and It was stunning!
As we continued into the next synagogue, we ran into the most amazing thing! A Sofer, a Torah scribe! It was such an experience to see him working on a Torah! It was incredible, too, to hear him talk about his process and the time it takes to finish a whole Torah (1 year)! As we continued to ask questions, he showed us some of his other work which which was also amazing. It was incredible how he wrote in such a beautiful font with such consistency! He was selling some of his work and how could I pass up an opportunity like that! I choose out a hamza-shaped writing with the a priestly benediction from the Book of Numbers on it. Even better…he scribed my Hebrew name on it!
Let’s move onto later in the afternoon – the shuk!!! Our amazing tour guide, Dikla, brought us around so that we could taste some of Israel’s finest foods, and in my opinion, some of the world’s finest foods. We started with a refreshing fresh fruit drink which was without a doubt, the best drink that has ever entered my body! We then moved onto taste melawa which was spectacular. The name comes from the Hebrew word melach which means salty, soft pizza. It was served like a pizza but millions of times better! I really have no idea what he put on it but it was delicious! All the flavors were indescribable! My mouth waters just writing about it! It does not stop there, though! As the chef was making the melawa, he was showing off his skills by flipping the pancake, pita, super high! He then asked our group who wanted to try and thinking that he was joking, said “I will”! Turns out, he was not joking and he invited me behind the counter to flip it! That was surely my highlight of the shuk!
After that, we got to taste some kanafeh, which is a cheese dessert with ice cream on top! This is one of my favorite desserts and a must have when you come to Israel! After that, we got to go to the world’s best rugalach place! I do not think words can even describe how good this rugalach is. They give it to you nice and warm and it is gooey and just feels like your taste buds are in heaven! As a result of all the spectacular food Israel has and all the boring food the states have, (other than grandma’s strawberry pie, bubbies cheesecake, and mom’s matzah ball soup, of course) I feel that I am left with no other choice other than to make Aliyah!
That night, we had the amazing privilege of seeing a light and sound show inside the old city! It contained beautiful projections and music on the walls of the old city right inside of Jaffa gate! It was a truly spectacular show and a lovely experience to end our day!
Written by: Adam Davis