When I’ve told people that Ima and Abba coming to visit, the most common first reaction is “this late in the year?!” But they came and they’re here, and we spent some quality time together this past weekend.
For the first time, they decided they wanted to stay at the lowest place on Earth - the Dead Sea - for a night, so after we did all that I described in the last post, we headed out to Yam Ha-Melach. We stayed at the Isrotel, which turns out to be a really nice hotel. Most of the guests at the hotel were Russian and walked around wearing bathrobes; kinda sketchy – Ima jokingly suspected them to be the Russian mafia. Dinner was totally unreal – a buffet of different meats, some good desserts, and wine from the tap, which was actually really good. After dinner, we walked around the area for a little bit, checked out some stores. One store was selling “Rambam Soap” – I found that to be kind of intriguing. Ima was thinking of buying some foot cream for someone but it was labeled “foot deodorant,” and that just sounds kind of wrong.
Anyway, Friday morning Abba and I went into the sea for a little bit and Ima got a massage at the spa. We met Slovakians and a crazy Australian lady; the former was on their first trip to Israel, and the latter comes every year for treatment. Abba loves striking up conversation with random people, as I saw saw all weekend. I guess that makes him a good rabbi. From there we headed to Jerusalem, where we were for Shabbat. We stayed at the Dan Panorama on Keren HaYesod – nice pick. In the afternoon, we walked around the Ben Yehuda area a bit, and we ate at Burgers’ Bar. We went to schul at the Great Synagogue – the chazzan davened nicely, but they did a ten-minute rendition of Sefirat Ha-Omer, which was kind of unnecessary from my point of view. Then we ate dinner with Dov and Esther Genehovski; we were surprised because they served fleishig, which they don’t do Friday night normally. Ima hadn’t seen them in over four years, though, and we all enjoyed seeing each other, so much so that we didn’t leave until close to midnight.
On Shabbat morning, we davened at Shira Hadasha. For me it wasn’t anything more special than I’m used to – very nice for the most part – and Ima and Abba enjoyed it, though didn’t see it as their best experience there. We ate lunch at Agron – for once actually good food – and napped at the hotel. Family friends who live in Modi’in came to visit, and then Abba and I went to Mincha at The Great Synagogue. Mincha was followed by Se’udat Shlishit, and we sat with Rabbi Freedman and had a good time there. After Shabbat, we went to Ben Yehuda for shopping and that was the extent of the night really.
On Sunday morning, I davened at the CY and then went to get a haircut and beard trim. Afterwards, we all met up at the CY so I could introduce my parents to teachers and people I learned with, though a lot of people weren’t there since the Shabbaton returned late the night before. I introduced Ima and Abba to Tito Bravo, and then we took a trip to Poland, and by that I mean Me’ah She’arim. They had some gift and jewelry shopping to do, and I also wanted to do music shopping. When we got back to the center of town, I introduced them to Aldo for some gelato, and then we went back to the hotel. We had dinner at Joy on Emek R’faim, and then a little later I went back to Yerucham.
It hasn’t been since I was two that I’ve shared an Israel experience with my parents, so it was nice to spend the weekend. I’ll be going back tomorrow.