Something a bit more low key, today. It is Friday night (well, will be early Saturday morning by the time I’m done tapping this out). So the city is quiet, families are in their homes having shared a meal, kicking back, maybe reading the Word.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a shabbat meal with some intercessors as we said good-bye to Terry, who has since headed back to the U.S.
Traditionally, before the sunset, the eldest woman of the house lights at least two candles and say a blessing to welcome the sabbath. Believers in Yeshua as Messiah say a variation of the following blessing.
Blessed are You, LORD our God, King of the universe,
Who sanctified us with his commandments,
and commanded us to be a light to the nations
and Who gave to us Jesus our Messiah
the Light of the world.
I love shabbat meals with Believers, because Yeshua is the first thing we acknowledge in the candles, in the bread and in the wine.
L’chaim! To life! That is usually the toast in Hebrew. Here we are toasting Terry midway through the meal.
The Jews know how to live. They take life seriously. Bombs dropping or not, they live. They push on with living even though, because life may end tomorrow. By and large, they’ve taken the LORD’s command to ‘Fear not’ fairly seriously. I’m not saying they are not afraid sometimes. But they push past that. Is that not really what courage is? Pushing past the fear of death and living, if just for the next moment?
On my walk home that night, I decided to take some photos of deserted Emek Refaim. It is the main drag in the German Colony. It is usually crowded with honking cars and buses and pedestrians. Many eateries are open quite late, so six nights a week, there is busyness on Emek Refaim. But on Friday night, it’s pretty quiet (save the occasional taxi whizzing by).
Emek, by the way, means valley. The Refaim (rephaim) were some of the giants in the Land before Joshua’s conquest. So, the name of the street is Valley of Giants. (Read 2 Samuel 5 for a good David-Philistine story).
So once you get past the shops, it’s residential houses and apartments the rest of the street. And on shabbat the primary sounds bouncing off the buildings are conversation, laughter, clinking glasses, silverware tapping ceramic dishes.
One more photo, for you caffeine fiends. Aroma, they say, is the reason Starbucks never made it in Israel.
Have a blessed weekend, where ever you are. Shabbat shalom.