I hope you are enjoying my weekly barrage of random musings about Israel and my photographs. Today I just have a short update on goings on: Last night Eric and I went to the International Arts and Crafts Fair that featured works from countries around the world as well as from many Israeli artists. Some of the items from other countries were more on the tourist-tacky side, but there were beautiful ceramics and teapots from Morocco, printed cloths from India, handwoven clothes from Kyrgystan as well as a whole section on shadow puppets from China and India.
We couldn’t resist the wares and bought a hand-woven pillow cover from Uzbekistan a ceramic Havdalah set from Israel and a few ceramic tiles from a glass blowing factory in Hebron. In addition to the fair itself, their is a musical performance each night along with a few smaller stages. (A few nights ago it was supposedly packed because Avi Geffen performed!)
If you go beyond the touristy parts of Jerusalem where they sell the very ornamental and mass-produced Judaica you will find a lot of really high quality stuff. There were some really original jewelry and ceramics at the art fair, and you can also visit the shops at Nachlat Binyamin in Tel-Aviv. I will definitely be stopping there when I need to purchase a few gifts for the folks back home (if you’re reading this, let me know what you’re interested in)!
There are so many things to do here during the summer. On Motzei Shabbat, for example, there is a Ladino concert taking place at the Bible Lands Museum (which is near the Israel Museum) and a concert at the Ma’abada (The Lab), a theater which features both musicians and theatrical performances. The Chan Theater in Jerusalem is also hosting a summer theater festival over a few days. And in late September/Early October there is an alternative theater festival in Acco–I think it’s during Chol Hamoed Sukkot.
Speaking of Jewish holidays, Rosh Hashana is just around the corner, isn’t it? The month of Elul is upon us now, and I heard the shofar blown in the shuk today. We’re supposed to use this time to reflect on our actions over the course of the year and to start asking forgiveness from people. It’s a pretty hard thing to do–swallowing one’s pride and asking for forgiveness! I’m going to try and to utilize this time to do some reflecting, although I need to make a concerted effort to carve out time–otherwise I’ll just find something to distract myself with :).
Fortunately classes at Pardes are starting in a very short while, and I think that will definitely help put things in perspective. Pardes is also organizing some orientation activities for incoming students: It is helping new students find a place for Shabbat dinner and it is organizing a retreat in early September to Ein Gedi.
Before Shabbos tomorrow, I’ll write a little about our trip to the North last weekend. I’m still savoring it!