Here we go!

OK-so it is Sukkot 5766, it is Amichai’s 11 month birthday and we have finally caved and started our own blog. We have been in Israel for 15 months now, have written over 60 e-mail updates and have heard from numerous people suggesting that we take our e-mails to the ‘blogesphere’ or whatever this is called, so here we go.

The two older boys are outside sleeping in the Sukkah, something they have been looking forward to for weeks. It appears that Fall has descended in Harei Yehuda (the Judean Mountains) and the temperatures have dropped a bit, so they are ‘double wrapped’ in sleeping bags and a quilt. They’ll soon be joined by at least one parent (one is hesitating).

The first day of Sukkot, even after more than a year of being in Israel we are still revelling in having to observe only one day of holidays, was very nice. We ate lunch out at the family of one of the kids’ babysitters (who also happens to be Romi’s favorite hat maker), returned home late and before we knew it the day was over. The yishuv is organizing a yishuv wide tiyul tomorrow to a number of sites around Gush Etzion, which we are looking forward to.

The big news of the last couple of weeks is the long awaited opening of Neve Daniel’s Beit Knesset Mercazi (the Central Synagogue). We don’t even know how long it has been under construction, but it has been at least 6-7 years. On the shabbat immediately preceding Rosh Hashana it was announced that everyone should come to Kabbalat Shabbat at the new shul. Instead of the typical five minyanim, the entire yishuv came together to celebrate the opening of, what is now, the highest synagogue in all of Israel. A lively davening with 2,000 voices joining together was powerful. The Rav of the yishuv spoke beautifully and everyone was happy (or almost everyone was happy…there always has to be a spoilsport in every crowd). There are still some kinks to be worked out of the building, but it is nice to finally have a formal building dedicated to Torah and tefilla (prayers) in Neve Daniel.

On the brief update side, everyone is doing well and enjoying time off from school and work (especially Romi).

We’re still working hard on our new project at work at Gift of the Times . We are selling historic papers and reprints which make great gifts…take a look!

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