Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 4 in Eretz Yisroel - Settling in and Kosel/Ir Dovid

Yesterday morning I got up early, went to the mikva before davening neitz, and then too the 7:05 bus directly to Ramat Beit Shemesh. Though there were some ikuvim (E"Y nikneis b'yisurin) in the car rental process, B"H I picked up the minivan and the keys to our short-term rental apartment there.
I then returned to Bnei Brak and spent time with my family, my wife's cousin and her family, and her grandmother. They kids continued to have a blast with them.

What's interesting about cheder and Beis Yaakov in Bnei Brak is that the kids get home about 2 p.m. That's about 3 hours earlier every day than our kids! It's closer to when I got home in my non-Jewish high school.

We then went to take my wife's Savta home and visit with her in Petach Tikva. We finally got back to our apartment about 9 p.m. to unpack. Very late for the kids! I was actually invited to the Bilvavi author's oldest son's bar mitzva, which started at 9:00 in Kiriyat Sefer, but it was already 9:30 before I could have left in any case. After 3 nights of little sleep, I did not want to push it at that point. Though I picked up a bar mitzva present at a seforim store in Bnei Brak, IY"H I hope to give it to him when we visit the Rav later on.

This morning we went to Yerushalayim. I dropped off my wife, MIL, and kids by the kosel gate and found metered parking just up the road. I davened by the kosel while I waited for them to finish the tour. Then we got some pizza and ice cream in the old city (Badatz R. Avraham Rubin). I then called up a guy we met on the El Al flight to Israel who works at Aish Hatorah and he gave us a tour of the facilities there, including their unbelievable roof view. Very nice guy.

We then had a tour of Ir Dovid, which was beautiful but very long. What a fascinating history Yerushalayim has. We went through structures built by the Yevusim 3,800 years ago!

Here's an interesting kasha, though it isn't novel to those who study these things. We saw seals written in Ksav Ivris, which looks completely different from Hebrew letters as we know them today, which is called Ksav Ashuris (Assyrian type). According to the tour guide, early generations essentially took the Hebrew words and put them to Ashuri letters (somewhat like Hebrew transliterated into English). My question is based on the idea that even the shapes of the letters were used to create the world and have special significance. If all the shapes of the letters today are written in Ksav Ashuris and have special significance based on their shape, why was it not used till much later than Ksav Ivris, where the letters are shaped totally differently.

I though of one answer; that because Hashem's providence arranged it that the letters are shaped as they are today in Ksav Ashuris, we (chazal) have to find significance in this hashgacha. I'm wondering if there's a simpler answer. Let me know if you can think of anything.

IY"H, hoping to go to participate in an archaeological dig and see a stalagtight cave tomorrow.

Kol tuv and thank you for the emails and the comment. It has been very nice for me and my family, who I told about the comments. Kol tuv!


Anonymous said...

make sure to check out rosh hanikra in the north the views are breath takeing enjoy

Neil Harris said...

Enjoy your time there!!