My Adventures in Israel - Traveling on the Sabbath

7:30 a.m. - I’m on my way from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It’s early Sunday morning. Libi, my granddaughter, who lives in Tel Aviv, and I spent Shabbat, in a small town near Haifa. Visiting people on Saturday, in Israel, means going by 4pm on Friday till Sunday morning, when trains run again, if you are taking any type of public transportation. Spending Shabbat with old friends there was delightful & restful, as Shabbat was meant to be. I highly recommend it.

The train was jammed packed in the aisles with soldiers heading back to base after Shabbat.  They each have huge duffle bags (Did their mom’s do their laundry?) but also guns, big complicated long-range terrifyingly-efficient looking rifles. They make room for one another. No one shoves. I am impressed by their cooperative attitude. Most of them appear to be 18 or 19 years old. Girls as well as boys- with the guns. A nation of soldiers, prepared to defend their country. Will I ever get used to that?!

Libi gets me to the bus station in Tel Aviv and on a bus to Jerusalem as she goes off to work. “If you need help with your luggage, ask a soldier for help,” she tells me. She has been a precious side-kick since I arrived, but I’m on my own now.

The buses, like the trains, are new, swift and streamlined. We finally arrive. Jerusalem looks different than the rest of Israel. The stones in the buildings are a white-ish color that often reflect the sun, which is why it’s called the “City of gold.” Much of it looks familiar as we make our way thru the city. At the Central Bus Station I take a 20 minute taxi ride to my friends home.  Yes, it is a big deal to not just hop in your car and drive somewhere.

Finally I arrive at my friend home. It’s lovely, on the 19th floor of a splendid new apartment building and the view of Jerusalem is spectacular! It’s now dusk and lights everywhere are coming on. It’s been a lovely day to rest after (finally) getting here. More adventures tomorrow.

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