On Erev Shavuot, our host walked in the door with a list of the shiurim (study sessions) that were being offered by his shul (synagogue): a series of lectures about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Dead Sea Sects, from the Second Temple period.
Earlier that day, Moshe told me he did not plan on staying up all night learning this year. I planned to study all night at Pardes, like I did last year.
As soon as I heard the topic, I knew Moshe would want to go that shul and learn there all night! This stuff is like candy for him, like someone opened the door to the candy shop and said, "go in and take whatever you want." I also knew he would want me to go with him (if you could have as much candy as you wanted, wouldn't you want to share it?). Of course, I joined him.
The topic of the third shiur interested me the most, but by that time, the hour and the Hebrew were starting to get to me. I finally succumbed and left the room to sleep for "a few minutes." I returned... an hour later, just as the fourth, and final, shiur was ending.
I was so tired.
I began to wonder if it really made sense for me to walk to the Old City.
I was not even going to daven (pray) there, because I would be davening later, at the Bar Mitzvah of my friend's son. Moreover, I worried that even if I did manage to walk to and from the Old City, I would crash when I got back, and be compelled to sleep. I did not want to miss the Bar Mitzvah.
I also did not want to disappoint my kids.
My eldest had already announced that she planned on learning with her friends and walking with them, so I did not have to worry about her. But I did promise my other two kids....
God had already arranged a solution....
Our host planned to walk to the Kotel with his sons; he was happy to take our son with him and our son was happy to join him. My youngest preferred to sleep in this year. So I was "off the hook."
I chose to use my brain instead of my feet this year.
For the first time, since I moved to Israel, I did not walk to the Kotel on Shavuot morning. Instead, I decided to sleep for a few hours, so that I would be awake and alert at my friend's Bar Mitzvah.
Please God, I will walk to the Old City again, next year.
This year, I needed to be with my friend and celebrate with her. I know she appreciated it!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Beit Hashalom goes back to Jewish hands!
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