Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bar Mitzvah, Reunions, Emotions

Today I took the day off to go to Yerushalyim to attend the Bar Mitzvah of a friends son.  I decided to go in with my son-in-law on his way to work, to take the light rail to Sha'ar Yaffe and walk to the Kotel for the Bar Mitzvah.  I would then take the light rail and then bus back home.  I anticipated a half day...


It took much longer.  But first, let me discuss my emotional experience. I arrived at the Kotel just as they were davening Shacharit, right before Kriyat Shema.  I was glad that I was able to get there early enough to actually participate.  I found Pnina right away, and then, I heard it -- Shabi's voice, just as Pnina was telling me he was there for the Bar Mitzvah!  Shabsi was davening for the amud. I knew that I might see some people I knew from Teaneck, but had not expected to see Shabsi.  So, I was really surprised and I started crying. (Quietly, so as not to disturb their simcha).  Then, I climbed on a chair and saw Carlos, and Moshe, and Aryeh and Shabsi, and I was kind of overwhelmed.  Barry had loved Carlos and his son Moshe so much.  Moshe did a BEAUTIFUL job leining and the entire Bar Mitzvah was just lovely.  I also saw Allison Alt, and Danielle Barta, and Rebecca Furer.  They were so cute. They each wanted to take their picture with me. I felt like a celebrity!! I told them that I wanted to have them all come to me for a Shabbat -- it could be a mini Teaneck Shabbaton!  

After the Bar Mitzvah we went to the restaurant, Between The Arches. It is in a tunnel and it is really nice.  We had drinks and nosh. Then there was a tour. I did not go on the tour. After the walking and standing around my hip was really hurting me. So, I stayed at the restaurant with their things until they returned. Then we went downstairs and sat down to lunch.  It was a lovely lunch, with all kinds of salads, and dips and spreads, a tapas bar of sorts.  Then there was salmon ceviche, and then salmon teriyaki on skewers with sweet potatoes, green beans and mushrooms, a lentil ball, and cherry tomatoes.  There was an assortment of desserts which I passed on.  I had limonana (lemonade with mint and crushed ice).  

After lunch I walked back to get the light rail. That too was not without incident. First, as I was walking there, I passed through one of the outdoor cafe's that is frequented mostly by young kids and there was Liav Lewitt.  I said hello to him.  Then a bit later I stopped at a caspomat to take some money out and when I was done, I turned around and saw Alef Lewitt.  It took him a moment to recognize me. He looked REALLY tired and out of it.  He had no idea that his brother was sitting around the corner!  Then, when I reached the intersection of Yaffe Street that leads up to where I would pick up the light rail, a woman fainted, and then began having a seizure.  EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE went to help her. One man threw his jacket under his head and used a stick to prevent her from biting her tongue. Another woman sat down next to her and held her head.  A third woman was on the phone calling emergency and another one called her doctor for instructions.  Another person offered water.   It was amazing.  I stayed for a while because I was so scared for her and wanted to know she was okay but I realized I could do nothing so I said a prayer for her and left. 

I then took the light rail back uptown, and found my way to the bus stop to catch my bus back home.  Now about the "it took much longer" comment.  Walking TO the Kotel was not so bad, it was mostly all downhill, plus it was early in the day and my energy level was good.  But by the time I arrived my hip was aching me.  Then, I had to turn down participating in the tour -- which was about a two hour long tour -- because I knew that my hip would hurt and that I still had to walk BACK to the light rail later.  Sure enough, after lunch, which ended at 2 PM, I walked back. This time it was all UPHILL, and I was tired, and my hip was already hurting me. I had to go S-L-O-W-L-Y. So by the time I made it to the train stop to get the light rail it was nearly 3 PM!  Then I had to WAIT for the train, and then the train was FULL and made many stops and took a long time at each stop so by the time I arrived at the Tachanat Mercazit it was nearly 4 PM.  Then I had to walk several blocks to get to the bus stop to catch the bus back to the Yishuv.  The bus does not go INTO the Yishuv, it let me off outside the Yishuv and I had to walk home from the bus stop.  There was traffic going home, so by the time I got home it was 5:30 PM!  It took 3.5 hours for me to get home after the lunch was over!!! 

Now I know why I wanted (and have) a car. I knew this would be an issue for me.  

Anyway it was a nice day all around...

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