Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Alternative Rosh HaShana in Israel

Rosh HaShana, the Hebrew New Year is being celebrated throughout the Jewish World today. In the Diaspora, for example in the US, where I was born and raised, Rosh HaShana means going to synagogue. Even those Jews who are not religious, will identify with their religion on this holiday, by going to the synagogue.

But here in Israel, where the majority of Jews are secular, it is only the religious who go to synagogue. The rest of the Jewish population celebrates the beginning of the new year (according to the lunar calendar), by taking the day off and celebrating with family and friends.

Last night with family and friends, we enjoyed a vegetarian gourmet feast, prepared pot-luck by each one of us. Today, I have been spending the day resting and recuperating from the last few weeks of intense construction work at the new Voices of Eden center.

In the afternoon I went for a walk to keep myself in shape after last night's eating frenzy (think Thanksgiving or Christmas family meal, then multiply it by 10!). In the park, I was tickled to find adults playing on the children's swing sets. You can watch them here:

Now, as I am writing this, it occurs to me that these people were very well finding their own creative ways for working off last nights festive meal!

One young man speaks with his friend (in Hebrew) as he swings to and fro, while behind him, two middle aged Russian women, gab, as they swing back and forth on another kind of swing.

As I type this entry, in the background, I can hear the Muezzin, calling the faithful to prayer from the mosque tower in the local Moslem village across the way. Today also marks the end of the Ramadan monthly fast, and several days of celebration begin.

I think I am pretty lucky to live in such a diverse place, where the new year and the Divine are being called in at the same time in so many different languages and faiths. This is harmony to my eyes and ears.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Temple is Entering It's Final Phase

This is a photo of the mosaic that will adorn the entryway to my home and the permanent center of Voices of Eden. I am making good on my promise to revive the music of Miriam from the Ancient temple, which by the way, you can read an excellent review of at: http://bethanymagdalene.blogspot.com/2007_02_01_archive.html

Once the center is complete, I will have an open house so that people can come and hear the music. Here is a whole slew of updated photos from the sacred construction process. There are some photos of my son and me there too, as well as a Druze feast, and a visit to Magdalenes well with colleague Rosalyn Clare during her visit from England.

Ok, so now I have moved out of my home in the Galilee hills and am living temporarily as The Official Wandering Jew. But, as you might be able to see from these photos, the sacred temple is on it's way to being completed, and with a bit of luck, I will move in before mid-October.

I am just learning to take one day at a time, and to allow the process to take it's time. There is a natural rhythm, and the building, which is sacred, must be allowed to dance it's own dance. I am moving to it's music and learning in the process to stop trying to push the river. It's exhausting enough building a building, trying to control nature is... well, let's just say, over the top.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Moving Can Be Fun

I have an entire house to pack today. Moving tomorrow. By time I hear back from you, it will be from an internet cafe.

I cannot imagine how exciting this is. Have turned over my excitement brakes, realizing that this is just about one of the most exciting things I have EVER done in my life.