Written Jennifer Lederman

There is no better way to spend Shabbat than in Jerusalem. After an amazing, breakfast we started our day by walking to meet Rabbi Shimon for a tour of synagogues in the area. Along the way our conversant and very knowledgeable tour guide identified points of interest as we walked to meet up with Rabbi Shimon.

Rabbi Shimon showed us many open-air services being held. Some outside of the synagogue buildings, some even in backyards and patios of neighborhood homes.

The modifications made to allow congregants to still worship safely during a pandemic was so encouraging. The highlight of the synagogue tour was the unexpected and awe inspiring witnessing of a female Kohanim reciting the Priestly Blessing under her talit in an Orthodox synagogue. She came over and spoke with us briefly about her journey as the daughter of a kohain.

We concluded our tour of synagogues by walking to Rabbi Shimon’s home for a hospitality Shabbat lunch. After Kiddush and Motzi, we had a bountiful lunch concluded by a Dvor Torah.

After lunch we continued our day walking the old city along the East-West divide and taking in all of it’s beauty and history within the quarters. We walked over seven miles today!

As the sun set and Shabbat drew to a close , we met for Havdallah and watched as the city once again came alive. Shabbat in Jerusalem was not only meaningful, but insightful. It was a wonderful experience we will definitely not forget.