Shabbat Activities 12/26/09

Terri and I finally got to haYarkon Park this morning. Its a park along the Yarkon river which flows right in front of our apartment building. We walked the mile (mostly within the park) to the Museum of the Land of Israel. The brochure estimates that you can see the entire museum in 3 hours, but that must just be a quick walk through. It took us about an hour and a half just to see one of the 12 exhibit halls and walk through the archaeological dig of Tel Qasile. The exhibit building we visited was the museum of ethnography and folk art. It contained ketubot (Jewish wedding contracts) from all over the world and back to the mid 1700s, and Jewish artifacts of almost every kind such as Torah scroll bindings, kidush cups, and candelabra. At the back of the museum is a fully restored Torah ark from an Italian synagogue that was nothing short of breathtaking.

We had a lovely lunch in the museum’s restaurant (I had fattoush, Terri had a sandwich of walnut bread, goat cheese and roasted vegetables). Then it was back to the museum. I spent most of the next two hours in the numismatic museum, Terri lost patience with me and struck out on her own to see the Dekel gallery next door which featured a history of Tel Aviv. After that we just had time for a quick walk through the remaining exhibit halls–one each for copper, glass, philately, and ceramics. Guess we’ll just have to make another trip.

We walked home through throngs of people using the park. There were people playing soccer, people on bicycles, people in boats on the river, people walking their dogs (there’s even a dog-training area in the park). I had hoped to take a Shabbat nap, but Ephy and Terri had other ideas. We discovered that there would be a 4:20pm showing of the new movie “Sherlock Holmes” so off we went to Diezengoff Center. We took a Sheirut (shared taxi) and the driver told us when to get off. Unfortunately, Ephy misunderstood him and off we went in the wrong direction. But we corrected ourselves in time and got to movie house with time to spare. The movie was just a trifle–the most interesting aspect was to see an adaptation of Conan Doyle to the modern graphic novel. But it was fun.

As we emerged from the movie house, Tel Aviv’s streets were filling with people gathering to celebrate the end of the Sabbath. We had a pleasant dinner in a cafe on Bograshof Street. Terri had vegetarian ravioli and salad, Ephy the chicken schnitzel and I had a very flavorful roast beef sandwich with a great sauce and roasted vegetables. The waitress was a completely ditzy woman of obvious Russian ancestry. She insisted on speaking to us in heavily accented English. Everywhere around us was the life of this wonderful city. We saw a “black hat” young man out with his family. He in his formal black coat and broad rimmed hat, his wife in colorful overcoat and wearing a blond wig, and their six children, all girls. They crossed the street to await a bus–Terri’s comment was that even if the family could afford a car, they don’t make them big enough in Israel for such families. Just across the sidewalk from where we were seated, a homeless man with fairly demonstrated mental illness sat on a bench and ate a supper of noodles. The poor are always with us and I wish there was something we could do for them and in particular for this gentle soul.

After dinner Ephy headed out to visit with his friends and Terri and I took the Sheirut home. We stopped at one of the 3 grocery stores near our apartment, this one is called “Super Baba” (they’re all Super something or other). We stocked up on beverages and Terri’s beloved Elite chocolate.

Tomorrow its back to Jerusalem for a day’s tour followed by the gala dinner for parents of kids in Year Course. We will almost certainly be coming back too late for me to blog, so this will likely be it for a day or two.

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