Well, as for #1, even though I check the news and my Facebook about 20 times a day, I am interested enough in what I'm writing to stay focused and manage to produce a reasonable bit of work every day. #2. thank God. #3 I have become more disciplined about starting my day with a glass of lemon juice (recommended by all the alternative health sites) which gets the old digestive juices down, and I've been able to work within a 10 second walk of the kitchen without taking advantage of it too much.
The end of Chanukah was great...nice and quiet. My nephew, who is studying in Jerusalem, was here with a friend and it made a nice balance with the Shabbat guests -- good conversations and a lot of fun. I didn't really DO anything for chanukah except go to a neighborhood party, but that's OK.
I took my nephew and his friend on a tour of the Old City yesterday afternoon. It's always fun to see the sites that I take for granted through someone else's eyes. I've also given up on pining away for a new camera and simply take the one that I have -- with a battery life of a milli-second -- and take a few pictures at a time. That what there is.
One site that we were able to see, the Cave of Yosef Caro, isn't often open, so I got some new pics. According to legend, Rabbi Yosef Caro sat with a "Maggid" -- an angel -- in a cave and wrote the Shulhan Aruch -- Code of Jewish Law. The Yosef Caro synagogue was built above it and the caretaker of the Y.C. synagogue, whose family has taken care of the synagogue for over 100 years (a rather dour gentleman) says that a local resident simply announced, one day, 100 years ago, that THAT was the cave of Yosef Caro (according to this gentleman's grandfather) and that's how the tradition started. So he's skeptical, but I wonder if he's just jealous because there's someone else stealing his thunder. The room IS directly below the synagogue, as the tradition says, and it sure LOOKS like a cave where someone could sit with an angel in peace and quiet. Also, Rabbi Yosef Caro was supposed to have been the head of the Rabbinical Court -- the Beit Din -- during his years in Tzfat and the larger room, next to the cave, is supposed to be the room of the Beit Din, which makes sense, given the time period and the fact that there is a cave next to a big room.
My thoughts, as well as of those around me, are consumed by the tragedy in Newtown CT, where a gunman got into an elementary school and slaughtered 26 people. I understand that people are passionate about their right to bear arms, but who has the right to keep an assult rifle in their home? I also understand that the young man was, obviously, mentally unbalanced, but what kind of parent keeps firearms in the house with a mentally unbalanced person living in the house? Is the United States SO unable to take action to protect its citizens? During the same week there was a shooting in an Oregon mall that left 2 people dead and another shooting in Las Vegas that left another 2 people dead. My mind boggles....they say that it's dangerous in Israel? At least here we know who our enemies are (of course, some of the same people who are unprepared to allow the Israelis to defend themselves against the people who want to murder them are the ones who are the most vocal about how Americans have the right to bear arms for self-defense. Bizarre).
|Cave of Rabbi Yosef Caro -- large room|
|Cave of Yosef Caro -- cave itself|