Four Days in Jerusalem

I’m in Jerusalem for what God willing will be my last time as a “visitor.” I’ve spent the vast majority of my time here in meetings for Rabbis for Human Rights, having carved out one day to look at apartments and do other aliyah related stuff. Everyone here talks about how expensive Jerusalem is, but I suppose everything is relative. Yes, it’s more expensive than other places in Israel, and it’s certainly a lot more expensive than Toledo. But it’s still a lot cheaper than other “world class” cities like San Francisco or New York.

We held our meetings in the Sisters of Sion convent in Ein Kerem – a lovely small town that used to be in the country, but is now about a five minute drive from the edge of sprawling Jerusalem. Still, it feels like a world away. My only disappointment from the meetings was that we were so busy we didn’t get a chance to join the nuns for one of their twice daily times when they recite Psalms in Hebrew — I hear it’s a very spiritual experience. When I left Toledo we still had snow on the ground. At Ein Kerem there were flowers in bloom and the fragrance was wonderful.

Yesterday morning for my “daily constitutional” I walked from my hotel in Baka (The Little House in Baka, a great place to stay) to the Kotel. Was a beautiful morning with a bright blue sky, unlike the overcast and intermittent rain I’ve mostly had since my arrival.

I wish I had more to say about what’s happening in Israel, or the mood in the country or things like that…but all my time was spent in meeting rooms, so I didn’t get out much. But I couldn’t resist at least saying how great it is to be in Jerusalem, even if only for a few days; and to share a couple of pictures I took with our new video/still camera.

Reb Barry

Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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