Saturday, June 19, 2010

"New moon, you left me standing alone..."

Yom rishon, 5 Tamuz 5770.

Because Israel is a tiny country, it is easier to know famous people personally  -- or at least to pass by them routinely in the street -- than it is in a vast country like the United States.

We are blessed to have an MK (Member of Knesset) living in our yishuv.  And he is blessed to have several security guards looking after him.

The guys who guard politicians in Israel don't look that much different than the guys I have seen in movies, which I assume is what sets the "type":  they are all physically fit specimens, without a lot of excess cranial hair, and little squiggly wires sneaking out of their ears and into their shirt collars.

But the guys in Israel are different, because they are mishpacha.

I walked by a couple of them on my way to visit a friend the other day, and overheard a few sentences of conversation.  No kipot, not particularly religious-looking -- these guys were debating a Rashi.  No kidding!

Tonight, the Dearly Beloved left shul after davening.  He walked past one of the MK's security guys on his way out the door.  The guard spoke to him in Hebrew, so it took a few seconds before my husband knew what he was suspected of.  Turns out, the guy was asking him, "Aren't they supposed to be doing Kiddush Levana now?"  The Dearly Beloved thanked him for the reminder, and waited outside until the rest of the congregation joined them for the ritual.
One of the nicest things about living in the Jewish homeland is that, more or less, the whole family is on the same page.  In ways that you just won't see in Washington DC -- and in ways the media sometimes forget to notice.

Yishuv: community
Mishpacha: family
Kipot: yarmulkes, skullcaps
Rashi: a famous Biblical and Talmudic commentator
Shul: synagogue
Davening: prayers
Kiddush Levana: monthly ceremony sanctifying the new moon

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