Friday, July 19, 2013

Shabbat in Jerusalem

The shabbat horn blows like an orchestra bubbling up through the streets, penetrating every sidewalk crack, dark alley and welcoming home. Called a shofar (traditionally a Ram's Horn), it loudly belts out its first proud note. For two whole minutes the Shabbat horn blares proudly. The Haredim hustle to prayer, prayer tassels swaying in time with their steps, the little white tassels rippling in the wind that sweeps up the narrow cobbled streets. Their giant black hats present to the world their origin and religious identity. Who knew hats could say so much?

At precisely 7:13pm, (time changes weekly) nearly all noise ceases. With the exception of taxis, only one civilian car dares to rev its engines. Today, for the next twenty-five hours, the whole city collectively exhales. Nothing but the tinkling of plates, the sound of muttered prayers, and the wind carrying over the plains of Israel can be heard. Somehow even the wind calms itself, as if it knows the holy hour upon which is blows. I had forgotten the power of Shabbat, the pure relaxation, reflections and quality time with family and friends.

It is my last Shabbat in Jerusalem, and already I mourn my departure. There is something magical about this city. The religious intensity is infectious. Well, I'm off to celebrate Shabbat at a friends. Shabbat Shalom to everyone around the world, and Ramadan Kareem!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search My Blog