Bareka’s with the Ben Yehuda’s and I live in Israel

Shavua Tov L’kulam, And what a week it promises to be! I have many mixed feelings as we enter into Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Surprisingly, i have found myself struggling ot find the kavanah, the intetion that i crave for this tiem fo year. It seemed as though i had my best Kavanah last year when i davened with the Neshama Minyan, and have yet to find the same attachment and connection to the davening. This surprises me as i am in one of my most favorite cities, I am in the “holy Land”, the land of my ancestors, the land of Israel. Afterall, I am but a 40 minute walk from the “temple” from the place where the ulitmate sacrifie took place. My first mishnah i learned in Rabbincia l School, Yoma 7 talks about the actions of the kohen HaGadol, the high priest on the days preceding Yom Kippur, and now, I have the visual to actually go to that place, envision it happening, yet there is no Kavanah, i don’t feel different. Perhaps, I am not meant to feel different this year, or perhaps, I am trying too hard, either way, there is nothing there.
I do, however, feel as though I am beginning to make a home here in Jerusalem. As i was walking to shul last night, davening at Yakar, finidng my kavanah and my spirit, i realized that I am in Israel, that i made it, that I am home. I davened in the palce the I used to go to when I was in high school, and my, how I have changed. I have grown, i have become a woman, and I have become more confident in myself. It was strange to be back in a place with so many memroeis, and yet, feel as though I am a compeltely different person. I remember going with my friends, feeling like a rebel wearing a skirt that didn’t cover my knees, proving that I am a woman who can do what she wants. Now, i realize that it is not dependant on my clothing, but rather my attitude. I know myself that I am capable, and it doesn’t matter if any man or organziation doesn’t think so. I know I can do it. As i heard the shabbat siren last night, I was drawn into the awareness that it is Shabbat, that I am in a place that values that day of rest, and I am in a place where I am able to equally value the importance of the day. The entire city rests on Shabbat, there are no cars honking outside my window, rather there is an energy of excitement and relation around me. I feel comforted, i feel at home, i feel at peace.
As i walekd to shul this morning, i realized that I live in Israel. There are some days where i am around so many American’s that it is hard to remember that I am in Israel, and then there are days like Shabbat where it is very clear that I am in Israel, that I am in a place that values Judaism, Jewish values, Jewish living. I walked to Shul, surrounded by so many people who were doing what I am doing, and it was a wonderful feeling!! And then, there are the Ben Yehuda’s. That’s right, the family of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the man who recreated the hebrew language attends the Masorti Shul I daven at. I lean Musaf today, and while i did a fantastic job for myself, and I am growing as a davener, I was also so excited by the fact that this family was there… I know, I’m strange!
And on that note, there is more reflecting to be done before the night is over. Look for a new reflection or two in the next few days, and keep commenting!! SMILES TO ALL!!

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