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  • Tzipi Altman-Shafer

Day 5 - In Jerusalem

This morning both JWRP trips in Israel joined together at the YMCA to hear two speakers. It was amazing to see 500 women together for this event! The YMCA is a beautiful building that I have walked by hundreds of times going back to the 1980s, but this was the first time I had been inside.

The first speech was "Re-Claiming our Dignity: Women, Self-Esteem and Beauty in the Glare of the Media" by Adrienne Gold. Some highlights are:

  • We see other people’s dignity when we see their souls.

  • Judaism says: “You are a soul, you have a body.” How do live in such a physical world? Mitzvot (commandments) teach how to do it.

  • We seem more images in a day than our mothers did in a year and our grandmother did in her lifetime.

  • In Jewish thought, something cannot be called beautiful unless the inside and outside are both beautiful. Pig is considered so unkosher because it’s hooves represent it as kosher but it’s insides (it's stomachs) were not.

  • “I’m perfect because God doesn’t make garbage.”

After a snack break (of course), we heard "Shabbat--Heaven on Earth" by Rav Gav Friedman. He was funny and taught us a lot at the same time. Some thoughts that he shared:

  • Pirkey Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) teaches: “All the pleasures of this world do not equal up to the pleasure in the world to come.”

  • “Shabbat is a taste of Olam Haba (the world to come).”

  • The root of the word אהבה Ahava (love) is הב Hav (give). You love someone when you give to them.

  • The more you put into Shabbat, the more you get out of it.

  • Shabbat is a day to disconnect so you can connect (focus on Shabbat).

  • Shabbat is like a date: turn off the phone, light candles, sing, eat good food. Shabbat is a love affair.

The afternoon was free. Many people went out for lunch and shopping. I went with a few women to Machaneh Yehudah (the Jewish Shuk / market). I was very excited because when I was in Israel with Milwaukee Jewish Federation last year, I had the best boreka I had ever tasted. I was able to find the shop again and it was as delicious as I remembered. If you ever want to visit there, it is a few shops down from Marzipan bakery.

Soon we will gather for Shabbat. Our next post won't be until Sunday. Shabbat Shalom.


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