Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Joys of being a Jew in Jerusalem

In the last month 3 special events have made me appreciate being a Jew and living in Jerusalem (the holiest city in the world).

First of all, my oldest daughter became Bat Mitzvah 2 weeks ago. OK, so this happens to all women, but what was so special for me. This girl, my 2nd child was born with a very serious heart defect. As a baby, she was very sick and underwent a few operations. I never thought she would develop well.

But she turned into a beautiful 12-year old girl. Very clever and talented at drawing, playing the organ and school-work. So we celebrated her becoming a woman and taking on all the Mitzvahs. Together we went to the Western Wall and prayed together (me with tears and her with all her heart). Then at home she did her first Mitzvah of taking Challah. On the day of her party she sang a beautiful song thanking G-d and her family for everything in her life.

Secondly a few days ago, an acquaintance of mine from England called me to say she had converted to become a Jew. This made me appreciate being born a Jew, and having had all the opportunities for 48 years of my life to celebrate Jewish festivals. When it comes to performing Mitzvahs and being a good Jew, I guess I haven't taken all the chances I was given. But volutarily taking Judaism on, well that is something else... I also frequently take for granted that I live in the holiest city in the world - Jerusalem.

And today, a third really special event occurred. Blessing of the Sun - Birkat Hachama - only said once every 28 years. For me it was the first time in my life I have recited this blessing. And I had the opportunity to say it in Israel, in Jerusalem, in a religious neighbourhood. What a great feeling. This is only the 3rd time ever it has been said on Erev Passover, so today was really a special day.

So now I can truly appreciate "The Joys of being a Jew in Jerusalem".

Happy Passover!
Chag Kasher Ve'Sameach


GaryW said...

Hi Soshanna

Wow Rivka has had her batmitzvah - hasn't time flown.

Wishing you and all your family loads and loads of nachas and mazel tov.


Miriam, Shira and Gary

Rivka said...

Mazeltov. I am so sorry that I am really bad at keeping in touch. Carmella (Sylvia) is in London at the moment for Pesach and I was just saying to her if she keeps in touch with you! I also can't believe Rivka is 12 years old. Your eldest must be about 16!!
Love Rivka

Miriam Woelke said...


Mazal Tov to the Bat Mitzvah !

Unfortunately, too many times we forget about how lucky we are to live in Jerusalem. Most restaurants and cafes are kosher, being among Jews and just find Synagogues and Jewish book stores all over. Let alone Har HaBait and the Kotel.

Living in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv.

Lady-Light said...

Mazal Tov on your daughter's bat-mitzvah.
I appreciate your following me on Twitter, and decided to check out your blog. No time to read it now as it's very late by me (still in galut) and I have to turn in, but I will peruse it later...
kol tuv to you and your family (I too have 5 kids; and 4 grandkids, the newest in Yerushalayim.)