When my son-in law drove me to the airport to go to Israel I thought I was dreaming. I had bought the airplane tickets a few months before. I was looking forward to seeing my 3 baby grandchildren and son and daughter-in-law. Also leaving the constant snow to 65% to 75% temperature would be great.
On the plane I sat next to a fellow and his group that were on Birthright. This was his first experience with going to Israel. When he saw pictures of Israel on the plane he thought it looked beautiful and not just desert.
My son picked me up at the airport. He drove me to the new area where he and his family live, called Modin Illit. It is a suburb with beautiful views of mountains. All of the houses are tall white buildings. All of the apartments have their own terraces. I met my grandson for the first time. His sisters were sleeping. Their new apartment is very roomy with 2 extra bedrooms built on. Also a new bathroom. The kitchen has lots of new counter space with beautiful granite counters and light wood cabinets. My daughter-in-law made challah bread a few days before Shabbat. We said prayers or blessings from the family in honor of my husband. It would have been his birthday that day. Shabbat was so wonderful. Fine china used. Lighting candles with oil. The meals were all delicious, but during Shabbat there are different courses that are extra special.
One day we went to Jerusalem. First we went shopping in different stores. We bought danish in a bakery call the Brooklyn Bakery. Then we took the bus to the Kotel (Western Wall). My son watched the babies at the gate of the Kotel while my daughter-in-law and I went close to the Kotel. Then my son went to the men’s side when we came back. I found it to be very spiritual but also emotional, and when I saw my 2 little grand daughters running around and smiling and laughing it was uplifting.
My son and I went for a walk during Shabbat. We went up a hill and saw a vast area of mountains brown and green and further down is the Palestine territory. A wall was built and now there is more peace. The wall reminded me of the great wall of China.
by Susan Weiss