Today is Friday, so why this title? The Jewish days start at sundown, not midnight, or sunup. So Shabbat started on this blog day.

Our first stop was the Hurva Synagogue. Well, the first major stop. But you already knew this is a real time blog, and we’re skipping lots of stories and pictures, right? Maybe some will come later in slide presentations. And we plan to offer Israel tours sometime, Lord willing.

The Hurva Synagogue was built and destroyed twice. The most recent destruction was in 1948. The current (third) building is a copy of that one, and was completed in 2010. It has lookout decks circling the structure both inside and outside.

We moved into another neighborhood this afternoon. It’s very near a school. We could see children “playing in the streets” of the city.

We spent the evening with Tova, our Airbnb host, an Orthodox Jewess, who is a tour guide.

The start of Shabbat is marked by the candle lighting ceremony, which is always done by the women.

Then she took us to a friend’s house with a rooftop/balcony overlooking the Western Wall.

We had a spectacular view of the Mount of Olives, Dome of the Rock, and the people crowding into the Western Wall. It is a time of celebration and joy.

We returned to Tova’s place for the Shabbat dinner. It includes reciting and singing various blessings in Hebrew throughout the meal. She had books with the Hebrew, the transliteration, and the English. The pages started at what we call the back of the book.

Out of respect for Orthodox observance of Sabbath, I didn’t take any pictures.

We discussed some of the similarities and differences of our faiths. She has a friend who moved from Sweden staying with her. The four of us had a very enjoyable time. We discussed some Jewish insights of the story of Isaac getting a wife.


By Andrew Zimmerman

Excited about travel in the Bible lands!

One reply on “Shabbat”

Thank you so much for your beautiful pictures and the commentary! So good to get your daily posts. Tina and I are hoping your tour becomes a reality!

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