These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem


Posted on February 6, 2011 by Shibley

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This post is long overdue, I apologize for the lengthy interlude between posts.

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to receive a two-week visit from my parents. Since my arrival in Israel, I have been planning their arrival. We arranged a guide for a few days in the North of Israel, after which I would bring them back to Jerusalem for just over a week, allowing them to see the tourist sights as well as experience a taste of my life in Israel. In a sense, sharing with them the world as it currently looks to me, in an almost reversal of what they did for me years ago.

One of the most memorable experiences we had was our encounter with a farmer in the Jordan Valley. The farmer, a friend of our guide from the reserves, produces herbs for export to Europe, and smaller quantities to the United States. We were welcomed with fresh mint tea. Not soon after, we were touring Yair’s greenhouses. The first greenhouse door swung open, and the aroma of fresh basil smacked us in our collective face. The basil was thigh-high and had just a delightful aroma. Yair begins picking basil, and upon leaving this greenhouse, he hands me the massive bundle and instructs in Hebrew, “for Shabbat.”

Two days later, that basil was turned into stuffing for Shabbat chicken. So, just as this is the beginning of my sharing the experiences of our trip with you, the Land of Israel shared its bounty, straight from the farm, to my Shabbat table.