I played hookey from school today so that I could spend the day with Daniel before he flew out this evening, homebound.
We spent a lazy morning reading and doing crossword puzzles before we headed out to the preschool's Rosh Chodesh ceremony. The preschool celebrates Rosh Chodesh with parents/congregation members every month, but this is the first time I've made it to the celebration. In honor of Shavuot, which is later this week, the cantor dressed as the high priest of the Temple, and the kids, all dressed in white, brought fruits to be sacrificed. The Rabbi opened the ark and showed the kids all of the Torah scrolls, and gave them an opportunity to touch the Torah crown. Then, there was a skit about grinding wheat to make flour and bread, followed by some singing, dancing, and shofar blowing. It was adorable, and we were also struck by the kind of knowledge it gave the kids - in a Reform setting, they had access, at a preschool age, to the Hebrew calendar, to Jewish history and holidays, in a pretty detailed fashion. It seemed particularly meaningful to be doing this in Jerusalem, especially as it was Daniel's last day here.
We went next to the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art, which we've been planning to visit all year. The museum covers Islamic art from the 7th century through the Ottoman Empire, and we enjoyed peeking around at the ceramics, tiles, and jewlery. We particularly enjoyed the exhibition on contemporary Arabic art in Israel - it was a small installation, but for us it was the highlite.
We strolled through the German colony and stopped in the Rose garden to sit on a park bench and chat before having ice cream on Emek Rafaim Street. We took a brief trip to the Malcha mall for a last-minute purchase before coming home for a game of scrabble.
We ended the day with a fancy dinner at Al Dente, an Italian place that many HUC students have been raving about all year. While there, we struck up a conversation witha family who is on a two week trip to Israel from New Mexico. Daniel used his Jerusalem expertise to recommend places they should visit while here - a final act as a Jerusalem resident welcoming others to his city. We arrived home with just enough time for Daniel to pack the last few items and make his final trip down our tiny old fashioned elevator to wait for the sherut that would carry him away.
It seems lonely in the apartment now, but I already have plenty of plans for the week, and plenty of work to do for school, so I don't think I'll even have time to feel sorry for myself. I am very much looking forward to Shavuot (which you are bound to hear about soon!) and to the next month-or-so that I have left to explore Jerusalem!
(see pictures here)