Last night, after returning from an exciting weekend at the Cherry Festival in Gush Etzion and a Shabbos in Neve Daniel with @tripnmommy and her band of merry munchkins, I wrote a really long and, what I thought, emotional post about the weekend. And then? Well, my computer went wonky and the app quit and my work was lost to the annals of time. So here we are, again. Let me try this one more time.
The great thing about Israel -- or maybe the Jewish community in general -- is that in an instant everything can change. I'm not talking anything philosophical here, but merely the fact that what I had planned for Shabbos fell through and I ended up opting (at the advice of a few folks) to go to the Gush for the Cherry Festival and then staying in the environs for Shabbos.
@freeves and I schlepped out to the Gush together, and when we got there we made a b-line for the Chocoholique booth so I could drop my Shabbos bags and to meet my meal hosts. Yes, I managed to land meals with the folks behind probably the most delicious chocolate liqueur on the planet. The funny thing is that I knew about this liqueur before going to Israel. See, when we were in Linden, NJ, for a Shabbaton, the rabbi there filled us in on the glory of spicy chocolate liqueur and said that he'd hook us up when I went to Israel. Of course, that conversation happened and was forgotten, so imagine my surprise when realizing that not only were my meals by the makers of Chocoholique, but that their next-door neighbors were related to the rabbi back in New Jersey. (Cue "It's a Small World After All ...)
|You can only buy this in Israel, but it's worth having someone schlep back. Any distributors in the house?|
I walked away from the festival with some mitpachot, some of the delicious Espresso and Coconut @Chocoholique, as well as some Honey Liqueur (sorry Gottliebs!), which I had never before seen. I had about a pint of cherries in my possession, not to mention the countless cherries I ate while scrambling around the grove, and I was prepared to do something that I had never had the chance to do before: separating terumah and ma'aser.
Halachah requires the separation of terumah and ma’ aser from Israeli produce. When the Temple was extant, these separated portions were distributed in a specified manner to the Kohanim (Priests), Leviim (Levites) and the poor, or eaten in Jerusalem. While terumah and ma’ aser are no longer distributed or eaten in Jerusalem, the requirement to separate and designate them is still in effect.
More photos? Of course!Residence in Israel is equivalent to the observance of all the biblical precepts.Elazar ben Shammua, Sifre #80 to Deuteronomy 13:29
Note: If you haven't already considered it, think about donating to the Barry Shuter Family Trust, which I blogged about recently. If you hadn't put two-and-two together yet, Amy (aka @tripnmommy) is Barry's wife. Their kids, I can tell you from first-hand experience that hold a powerful light within themselves, and they should know only happiness and success in this world. My own father lost both of his parents before the age of 12, and he struggled with the help of those around him. Losing a parent and a husband is impossibly difficult, but there is so much that we can do to make life easier for the family.