As I mentioned in the ending of my last post, I went to Elkana for Shabbat. The settlement is a 15-minute drive from Petach Tikva, just over the green line. I've spent one Shabbat there beforehand and have written about it here, but just as a refresher: Yael worked with my mom when my mom was at Federation, and she has a husband and four children between the ages of 2-11. Nitai (her husband)'s mother was also with them for Shabbat Hol HaMoed. They live in a cute caravan and they have three dogs, a few chickens, and a few goats, too. It's a very homey place to live. Shabbat is quiet there – no cars on the street.
I'll highlight just a few things that I remember – like everything else over Pesach, Shabbat was relaxing:
*They have a nice custom when they light candles that for each candle, which represents one person in the family, Yael says something positive about that person's week.
*For lunch on Shabbat, we went to a neighboring settlement called Sha'arei Tikva, where Nitai's aunt lives. She is married to a Canadian, and they lived in Canada for a few years after marriage, so everyone spoke English pretty well.
At this point I can't recall too many more details of the weekend, but I had a nice time, and it gave me an opportunity to practice some good Hebrew. I stayed Motza'ei Shabbat as well and left Sunday morning for Yeruham for the last day of chag.