Honorable Mensch-ion


Our hotel room overlooks the old city walls of Jerusalem, a view that never gets old. Last night, we planned for an early bedtime for our kids as we prepare for a sunrise trip to Masada and a float in the Dead Sea before Shabbat. As the kids recited the nighttime Shema, I looked outside and saw a bride and groom standing under a chupah as the band sang Im eshkachech yerushalayim, if I forget thee O Jerusalem.

At the conclusion of this prayer, the glass was shattered.

I have officiated many weddings, but this was my first wedding where I witnessed the glass broken literally feet from the walls of Jerusalem.

The context of the scene was made even more special by what happened yesterday morning as Sinai Temple teens celebrated b’nai mitzvah at the Ezrat Yisrael (egalitarian section) of the Kotel.

This action of young American Jews reading from the Torah was a reminder of those words, that we will not forget Jerusalem. And the words we read from Parshat Ekev: God will bring you to a good land, with streams and springs, a land of wheat and barley, vines, figs, and pomegranates, olive trees, and honey.

Moments after our service, we took a quick bus ride to Machane Yehuda, the market place where we ate our way through the tour, engaging the words of our Torah, eating the delicacies that the Torah describes.

So much of this land is old. So much of this land is new.

The true beauty is that there is no distinction. May that glass in front of these walls I stare at as I wrote these words continue to shatter, and may the joy in those moments be multiplied.

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