by David Jacobowitz, Los Angeles, CA
With Pesach around the corner, I have started to think about the amazing opportunities I have had this year being able to celebrate all the Jewish holidays in Israel. Beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Shavuot covers all the major holidays of Judaism, and I have been in Israel to experience them all. Yom Kippur was something that I hadn’t expected being from Los Angeles. Witnessing one of the busiest streets in Jerusalem completely empty sent shivers down my spine, for it was inexplicably different than the norm. Five years ago, I was in Jerusalem for Sukkot during my Bar Mitzvah trip, but for some reason this time around it felt more meaningful. Being here without my family made it more of a spiritual holiday for I was able to be in my own sukkah with a new “family” and shake the lulav and etrog not just facing east, but directly towards the kotel. For the little bit of Chanukah that I was present for in Jerusalem it was on a different level. Watching the capital of Israel transform itself into on of the most joyous areas in the world for an entire week was a tremendous sight to see. Unfortunately I was only here for two days of Chanukah for I took advantage of winter break and went to see the wonders of Paris.
Purim here was insane! Ephraim and I dressed up as Jessie and James from Team Rocket of Pokemon, which may have been my best costume ever. Had an amazing party with Shalem after megilla reading, followed by getting tipsy with the Rabbis. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Pesach!
Six months in Jerusalem gave me this wonderful opportunity to experience these holidays, but it’s time to move on to Sar-El and then off to Marva. Can’t Wait!