Spent a good part of the day looking down into the wadi, watching the forest fires burning. There were 3 different points, so it was pretty clear that it had been started by someone. The news also noted fires in other areas of the country....purely depressing. The one outside of Tzfat was put out by evening, but the destruction is awful.
I had a guest who stayed in my guest room last night from Australia. I didn't have much time to speak to her, but she told me that her father was Jewish, but the family never knew it until after he died. She is in Israel connecting to her heritage. For some reason, in a a number of different ways, I've heard this story several times just in the last week; not always people discovering their Jewish ancestors, but people discovering their heritage which, because of disinterest, neglect, fear, or pure ambivilance on the part of previous generations, they'd been distanced from.
A co-worker who is transcribing the evaluations of the last Livnot program that just finished (a Jewish experience program that I work with) noted that a new theme that she sees is how many participants say that they've been embarassed or ashamed of their Judaism. After the program, they feel proud and want to continue to connect, but one wonders.....how many other Jews out there are feeling the same, but don't have an opportunity to look at their Judaism with pride and understanding (not to mention a bit of knowledge)? Another depressing thought.
But since it's Wednesday July 1st, and everyone is healthy and happy around here, i want to close on a high, so I'm going to share this video that my friend Mikimi sent to me. Few videos actually make me laugh out loud, but this one did.