Friday zipped by!
Friday afternoon, we saw the Israeli Jugglers show. It was a really good show. There are a lot of talented Israeli jugglers. One of the Israeli performers was not actually Israeli (or Jewish). Jan, (pronounced: Yan) a tall, lanky German juggler, with long, straight hair, gathered in a "ponytail," has been a regular participant at the Israeli Juggling Convenion for the last six years. He takes full advantage of his long limbs to juggle in a most unusual way.
I met Jan on the first of second day of the convention. He is a very sweet, and gentle young man. His travel partner, a young German woman juggler, was equally friendly and fun.
Right after the show, Moshe left to spend Shabbat with our friends (the husband and youngest son) on Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu. (Moshe does not enjoy camping, so there was no question that he would not camp on Shabbat.)
My eldest originally planned to spend Shabbat on kibbutz, with her Abba, but in the end decided to stay with the rest of us campers.
I had assumed that Sachneh was an enclosed area, and that the fence surrounding the park served as an "eiruv" -- creating an enclosure and enabling the carrying of objects out of doors. It turns out, this issue is far more complicated than I expected. The eiruv can only be established if everyone agrees to it, or if the chosen head of the community (e.g. the mayor of a city) declares it so. Well, there are no mayors of the national parks, but my Rabbi said that the head of the convention could be considered the "mayor" for this purpose.
So I tracked down the head of the convention and explained what we needed to create the Eiruv. He was honored to say the special prayer for us and asked me for a copy of the text.
Setting up the eirvu took longer than I thought it would and left me with just ten minutes to shower before Shabbat! I ran to get ready!
Once again, my kibbutz friend (who camped with us, while my husband slept at her home, along with her husband) really enhanced our experience. I was prepared to eat Matzah and Cold Cuts for dinner. But, while I was running around trying to make sure we had an Eiruv, she prepared cooked food on a portable gas burner.
We lit candles by our tent (in an aluminum pan , as an extra precaution).
I really felt the peace of Shabbat enveloping us.
We had a minyan (quorum of ten men) for Kabbalat Shabbat (the prayers welcoming Shabbat). It was beautiful, praying outside, singing under the trees.
We ate Shabbat dinner as a community. All the families in our little enclave sat in a circle. We put our food in the center, and shared our meal. It felt really special.
Unfortunately, at the same time as we ate, there was a special workshop on Diabolo juggling, given by the two international guests, who are amazing Diabolo jugglers. I encourage our son, who is a serious Diabolo juggler, to attend.
The workshop lasted longer than I expected, and my son rejoined us after most people were finished eating. He made his own Kiddush (blessing over wine or grape juice, sanctifying the Shabbat) and HaMotzi (blessing over bread), and ate good food, but the "festive meal" is not the same when you are eating alone.
He did feel that the workshop was worthwhile, so at least he did not regret his choice. But, afterwards, he related that it did detract from his Shabbat experience.
After dinner, we hung around for a while and then we went to bed.
In the morning, our family (again, I am including my kibbutz friend) got up at our own pace. After davening, we ate together, with just our family. It was still quite early in the day, so our festive meal was really breakfast. But since matzah is the main staple of most Pesach meals, we made Kiddush and HaMotzi before eating our breakfast.
After the meal, my daughters hung out on our machatzelet (woven rug), doing gymnastics with our friend's kids (all girls). They worked on excersizes that were similar to those in the acrobalance workshops.
My son and I spent a few hours in the Ulam Sport (gym). In addition to practicing on his Diabolo, my son was working on walking a tight rope. By Shabbat afternoon, he could walk across with no problem and was working on slightly more complex moves.
I practiced juggling three balls.
In the afternoon, we had our third Shabbat meal: matzah and salami. Once again, we just ate with our family. It was a nice, quiet, relaxed meal. Then we hung out until Shabbat ended.
On Motz'ai Shabbat (Saturday night, after Shabbat), Moshe rejoined us and we all went to the International Performance. The guest artists were really good.
My youngest daughter heard from a friend who saw the earlier show that a lot of this show had performances that took place below the stage. So, I made sure we sat way up front. My girls complained at first, especially my eldest, because we were sitting slightly off to the side; my eldest felt I had "forced" them out of the seats they wanted, which were much further back, but in the middle of the row., especially my eldest. However, once the show started and she saw how great our seats were, and how well we could see the portions of the performance that were below the stage, I think she really did appreciate it. I kept whispering to her, "say 'thank you, Ima'....", and she did!
After the show, the girls went to sleep and my son and I went back to the Ulam Sport. There we participated in a human siteswap. It was really cool. Eventually, my son tired out and went to sleep. I stayed longer, working on getting our timing right.
Afterwards, I learned this wierd juggling game that the Haifa Jugglers make up.
Once I figured out the game, I got bored and practiced juggling 3 balls.
As the night wore on, I knew I should go to sleep, but I was reluctant to leave.
I really loved being there.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Shai Abramson and IDF choir sing "Ureu Vanim (video)
34 minutes ago