An unexpected trip to the Holy Land!
FEATURED IMAGE: That’s me praying at the Western Wall for my prayers re: post below (marriage and money pressure) to be answered, amongst other things. Look, I also prayed for peace in the world, so I’m not entirely selfish.
I always wanted to visit Israel, particularly following my conversion in August, but I didn’t think with money restraints and unresolved career issues, not to mention the most recent war, it was going to happen this year. But it did! Because that’s the power of manifestation (and your boyfriend, now-fiance, actually listening to you and doing his best to meet your requests).
My Jewish boyfriend, now fiance, took me on a surprise trip to Belgium, Amsterdam, Paris (where he proposed) and then Israel for 8 days. Despite my post below, he’s pretty awesome. He’s not rich, but he’s not poor, he’s in between, but extraordinary in terms of character and charisma…and he is able to Ocean View his way in life, which means we can never really afford anything, but we always find a way. Power of the Universe perhaps? I have barely afforded my entire existence and yet I’ve traveled and experienced much.
I’m always hesitant to write these travel blogs because who the hell needs a history lesson. So I’m going to be vague with the knowledge that if you don’t know, but care that much, Wikipedia is a click away.
You know Israel and that whole notion of the Holy Land, well I didn’t feel any different during any of it, until we went to Masada. Oh man the history lesson I was trying to avoid is a bit tricky here. Ok, just quick Wikipedia reference: Masada (Modern Hebrew מצדה metzadá “fortress”) is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau (akin to a mesa) on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE. According to Josephus, the Siege of Masada by troops of the Roman Empire towards the end of the First Jewish–Roman War ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels and their families hiding there. Masada is located 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of Arad.
So basically Masada is atop of a mountain that overlooks the Dead Sea and when the Romans came to kill the rebel Jews they ended their life in suicide. Well you see I used to live on a mountaintop in Lake Arrowhead and my writing partner committed suicide. What is it with mountains and suicides? During my time in Lake Arrowhead, I too felt like I was in hiding, trying to resolve pending immigration issues. The point is this felt like a slight parallel to a snippet of my life…and it was a very spiritual experience (discovering this Masada mountaintop). Also, something magical happened where the old Synagogue was situated in Masada. I encountered a Rabbi writing a Torah scroll (for the first time ever) and he inscribed my name (Chavah – my Jewish name) and my fiances name on a parchment of the scroll paper, which is now going on our Ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) See:
Other than that, as part of my Israeli adventure I went to the Western Wall, obvi.
I even bought a special headscarf to appear more spiritual (and because I wanted one for lighting candles on Shabbat).
Our home base during our 8-day trip was Tel Aviv, which was a lot like Sydney, surprisingly.
2nd pic: That’s us with the legendary Dr. Shakshuka himself.
And a final pic in Jaffa – beautiful sunset, but if you look closely in the background – best photobomb ever – pantless kid. Thanks Kid! This is a Kowalski metaphor of some sort.