Pluralistic Perspectives Days 5-6: Nir Etzion a Shabbat to Remember
We arrived on Friday afternoon after a lovely morning touring the amazing Roman ruins at Tzippori – we saw intricate mosaics that gave us a sense of just how grand the buildings must have been here. We saw the remains of a beautiful palace that just might have the home of Yehudah Ha Nasi – the writer of the Mishna. From Tzippori we made our way to the beautiful Nir Etzion – a “Dati” – religious – kibbutz very close to Haifa — beautiful resort. We got settled and began to prepare for Shabbat….We dressed in our Shabbat clothes – lit the Shabbat candles and some of us chose to attend the Kabbalat Shabbat service. The singing was beautiful – we felt the excitement of the start of Shabbat in the atmosphere. Some of us recognized some of the tunes and we were able to sing along – and some tunes were new to us – but were beautiful!
From here we walked together to the dining room where a delicious buffet was waiting for us. After kiddush and motzi (blessings over wine and challah) we headed to the buffet. We were surrounded by religious families beautifully dressed and happy to be together to celebrate Shabbat. We filled our plates and relaxed around the Shabbat table. Some of shared about our own traditions and compared our own experiences to Shabbat here. We talked about the unique and special gift of Shabbat – a chance to “unplug” and rest the body and soul. When the next course was put out – some of us were taken by surprise – how could there be more food??
On Shabbat – some of relaxed and enjoyed the natural surroundings including the Refet (cow barn). Others walked to the Ein Hod artist colony to enjoy a wonderful opportunity to visit the galleries and learn from the artists there. Nir Etzion gave us a beautiful Shabbat experience which we won’t soon forget! Shavua Tov — Have a great week!