Saturday, February 25, 2017

Our Trip to Israel- The Shabat

Saturday, February 25th

We had a little trouble falling asleep last night because of the time difference; nevertheless, we had to wake in the morning to help our bodies adjust more easily to Israeli time. Matt woke me a few minutes before 8:30. And, even with the sun shining brightly through our windows, it felt like it was the middle of the night (probably because it was 1:30AM in America). But a nice warm cup of black tea followed by one with coffee, which I sipped while standing in the warm morning sunshine, helped me feel more awake and ready for the day.

The quaint and quiet courtyard outside our apartment. We ate our lunch here yesterday. 

The most amazing sugar I have ever tasted. So fresh and unprocessed. 

Our kitchen- it has an electric stovetop (left) and a small fridge (not pictured).
This drying rack is ingenious though- all of the water from the wet dishes drips into the sink. 
The entrance to our apartment's courtyard. There are three units, including ours. 
Laundry that our neighbors hung out to dry the night before the Shabat

Plants outside our door. 

The bell that hangs above our door.

The wall of our kitchen

The back wall of our kitchen, with the front door to the left.

The buses and light rails are closed for the Shabat. The city feels quiet and serene. There were a few others walking when headed out our door and up the sidewalk, but besides those few, there was nearly no one to be seen.

The church we planned to attend was in Talpiyot, about a 50 minute walk from Nahalaot, where we are staying. So we decided to catch a taxi on the way there. I actually caught my very first taxi ever. I was quite proud of myself :) Our taxi driver was a very friendly man named Jack. He and Matt conversed in Hebrew nearly the whole ride. He gave us his phone number, and we would like to call him when we need a taxi to the airport at the end of the week.

The church service was a very different experience. There was a mixture of people attending- Jewish, Asian, Canadian, and more. The main prayer and the sermon were in Hebrew, with an English translator on the stage as well. I was very thankful for this! The songs were all sung in Hebrew, but there was an English translation on the screen for those who needed it. Matt is thinking that this will be the church we will attend when we move here. The preaching is Biblical, the sermon is translated into English, and they have small groups (which we hope will be helpful to make friends and feel connected to Christian community while we live here.)

Being in a service where another language is obviously the primary language, and especially seeing others talking to one another in Hebrew and not being able to understand what they were saying to one another, did make me feel out of place and a bit alone. It is such a strange and unfamiliar feeling to feel like you are different from the majority who surround you (obviously, I have not travelled much). This experience gave me an increased compassion for refugees in Louisville or for anyone who is from a different culture who is living in America. I can see with more clarity now how important it is to go out of your way to make them feel welcome and loved- especially because, if they are believers, you have a common bond in Jesus and a unity that will bind you together for all of eternity.

Once the service was finished, Matt and I decided to walk back to Nahalaot. We knew it would be about a 50 minute walk (if we didn't get lost :) but the weather was beautiful and perfect for walking! I now know that if I want to get Matt to go for long walks with me, Jerusalem is the place to be :)
I absolutely love all of the plants on all of the buildings

Hebrew poetry

Hebrew cursive

It's been along time since I have seen one of these!

My handsome man and his trusty map :) 

About half way through our walk, we stopped near German Colony at a restaurant called "Adom- Restaurant and Wine Bar." Matt said he had eaten at this restaurant when he visited Israel last November. We had a very delicious lunch and an enjoyable time talking with one another. As an appetizer, we ordered a salad of tomatoes, basil, olives, capers, mozzarella & onions. It was fresh and full of vivid colors of yellow, purple, green, & red, and each bite was bursting with flavor- it reminded me of the produce we used to get from the farm through our CSA this summer. For our main courses, we ordered salmon with pesto and chicken in coconut milk. And then, for dessert, we chose a creme'brulee, upon recommendation from our sweet waitress. It was a very refreshing lunch and nice break in the middle of our walk.

What a stud. 

On the walk home, we passed a garden with the most incredible view of the walls of the Old City and of Mt. Zion. We also were able to look inside one of the Jewish synagogues, which was beautiful.

The walls of the Old City

Mt. Zion and the valley beside it

The King David hotel

One of the Jewish Synogogues

A painting on one of the walls of a building in Nahalaot
Later that evening, we walked down Ben Yehuda St. to talk to a vendor about cell phones. We were excited to learn the prices are super reasonable! 

After that, we headed up to experience the night life of Mahane Yehuda- which becomes dark alleyways lined with graffiti and crowded with young adults scattered throughout the various unique bars. It was quite the experience. Seeing the Mahane Yehuda at night is such a stark contrast to the bustling and bright and colorful activity during the day. I didn't get any pictures of the bars, but I did get a few of the graffiti. 

A far away view of the bars on one of the Mahane Yehuda streets. 

An empty ally in the Mahane Yehuda.

A flower shop on Ben Yehuda St. 

A Kippa store on Ben Yehuda St. 

Ben Yehuda St.



  1. I'm crying. So happy for you guys but I selfishly never want you to go.

    - Kathryn Klein

    1. we love you all too, and will really miss you! just means you will have to come and visit ;)