Thursday, August 20, 2009

An August for the Ages

...And the weeks go by. Another week has come and gone, bringing with it adventures, wondrous thoughts & sights, new friends, challenging hikes and a slue of beautiful sunrises and sunsets giving drama to time. The Klezmer Festival in Tzfat was amazing. Jewish gypsy music live on every corner, people gathered from all over the world, and a crew of newly acquired friends. After the Klezmer, I attempted to meet a friend and her family for Shabbat. Once again the race was on and as the hours wore on, it appeared as though I was losing. After missing the last train to where I needed to go, it took incredible effort and ingenuity from my friend, serving as central intelligence guiding my every step as I called from random cell phones, arranging rides and coordinating our impromptu Plan B with incredible precision. After a series of rushed buses and a cab ride only a fool rushing to make Shabbat would pay for, I arrived at her house twelve minutes before Shabbat arrived. Incredible! I spent the weekend with Shira (said friend and intelligence agent pulling the strings of my travels from an undisclosed location) and her family, which was a treat of the highest order. Meeting her grandparents, whom have lived lives of literally historical significance, was one of the most interesting experiences I've been fortunate enough to have since being in Israel. Her grandfather, a physicist whose work on Atomic Energy has taken them all over the world, her grandmother, a woman whose very presence puts you at ease yet instills a desire to learn more, try harder and take nothing for granted, both escaped Nazi Germany and lent their hands in the War of Independence for Israel in 1948. Their stories were epic, their presence steadfast, and the fact that they not only spoke to me, but actually did so with genuine interest was ultimately humbling. I only wish I could record a snapshot of the conversation and antics that went on around the Shabbat table. It was a history lesson wrapped in a Woody Allen film.

After a memorable Shabbat, several friends and I set out on a three day hike that would take us through a Druze village, along the only river with water in Israel at the moment, and end in a day at the most beautiful grottoes along the Mediterranean. My compatriots were three amazing compatriotets, each very unique in their own way, all such beautiful souls. It was quite the hike. Aside from the first night onslaught of mosquitoes and the occasional dog sitting on your head, our hike went very well. We would occassionally hitchike from place to place, often breaking into groups of two and meeting up at our final destination. A bit like the Amazing Race. After our hike concluded with a beautiful sunset over the Meditteranean, Shira (one of the three musketeerets) and I hitchiked to the north and crashed a beautiful wedding. It was an ideal ending to several days of hiking.

This brings us to today, as I'm about to set out with Shira #2, currently sitting right next to me, to hitchike (a favored form of transportation here) to Haifa for a beer festival, then on to Jerusalem where I'll spend Shabbat with my good friend Benny. For those of you following this blog, I wish you all unexpected inspiration. Below is a note from Shira, her lovely personality and incredible spelling ability shine through. She's a gem, no doubt. Till the next post...

Aside from that the best time that l had in Tzfat was not yet come- l am going with my best friend Shira (the littel one...) to a beer Fastevial in Haifa, the city l hate!!! but l would do any thing just to spend time with Shira!!! l would even buy here dinner tonight, when she will be hangrey, and stay intuch with here for ever!!!!!

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