Hello everyone! I’ve missed you while away from posting for a few days. J of Jerusalem is my guest here today as she describes how Thanksgiving went for her there, inside Israel. Enjoy! And I’ll be back to regularly posting again tomorrow!
Thankful greetings from Jerusalem!
I thought that you might enjoy some ‘observations’ mixed in with a bit of an update (as I have been SO encouraged and humbled by the amount of prayer and love poured forth on our behalf!).
My husband came home for a ‘vacation’ on Thursday (what a wonderful Thanksgiving gift!) and is to go back to the rehabilitation hospital tomorrow, Sunday.
We have a wonderful service here, free of charge- it is considered a work of mercy; there are ambulance services to transport people in wheel chairs or on stretchers or life support. That way, those who would be confined to home or institution can be transported to family events as well as doctor’s appointments etc. We were quite impressed as ‘our ambulance’ drove up to the hospital to take us home and to transport another lady, well over 90, to hospital for dialysis treatment. We had a fiasco getting my husband’s wheelchair down 3 steps and up 3 others leading into our apartment, but he was finally home and welcomed by our dog and cats and bird and neighbors. Then we got to settle in to the reality of the many obstacles posed by our apartment that we don’t have to face at the hospital.
Since we planned a Thanksgiving meal with our full family for Friday (Thursday being a work day) I had much work to do. For the past several years there has been a large immigration (aliyah) from North America, and so Israeli butchers have become ‘Thanksgiving sophisticated’ (or at least they THINK they have!).
I haven’t been to the shuk for a month, but made a quick ‘run’ on Wed. morning and there, by a meat ‘stand’ was a turkey! Now, mind you, this bore NO resemblance to the first turkey that I purchased some 16 years ago (to the protest of the benevolent butcher who assured me that not only would it NEVER fit into my stove, but no one on earth could eat that much meat!). That first turkey was…well…feathered after a fashion. To be more accurate, PARTIALLY feathered. It was also flat. Well…they probably didn’t have a box that it would fit into so they had SMASHED it into the box. And the skin was pretty ripped up…patchy might describe it. I recall looking at it sadly and asking The Lord to cause it to be pleasing and tasty, ANYWAY. I’m sure He did. Well…this was NOT the experience this year. Oh no! Every butcher stand had a turkey displayed, but this one caught my eye; he had a raw turkey sitting out on a fancy platter perched on a stool. This man had done some homework and had an imagination to boot. Realizing that Thanksgiving was a real ‘holiday’, he thought to ‘dress the turkey up’. So what could be more festive then to drape it with cousbara (cilantro) sprays, some chili peppers, and pour hummus beans (garbanzo beans) all over it? A LOVELY middle eastern display. Wish I’d had a camera J. I also found that when I ordered a ‘whole turkey’, the butcher immediately began speaking to me in rehearsed English; ‘Ah! You wish a THANKSGIVING! So…when IS Thanksgiving this year?’ He asked smiling. ‘Friday’ I said, hedging the question a bit.
Then there was the young secretary whom I work with. I told her that my husband would come home for Thanksgiving and she asked me what ‘Thanksgiving’ was. It didn’t occur to me that she had never so much as heard of the holiday, and I was blessed by the challenge to describe it to her in Hebrew. When I was finished, she surprised me by asking ‘Where is it in the Tenach?’ (Bible), because religious Jews ONLY celebrate prescribed holidays. When I told her that it ISN’T prescribed in the Tenach, she got tears in her eyes and said; oh…so it isn’t a Jewish holiday. The Book of Psalms came to mind…FULL of commandment to Thank, Worship and Praise Him. I don’t know if she was fully convinced, but I will believe I will be able to pursue it; the understanding that all creation is called to thank and praise Him Who is the One True God, and the fact that there are two countries that do this nationally (aside from here) is a blessing and brings Him glory.
One final thing along these lines; Having been raised with the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I am always interested in the comments that I receive from the many friends that I have from other nations. This one thrilled me and I thought that there might be others who would be encouraged to embrace what this family has done. This is sent by a dear South American sister:
“Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Of course, there is no such thing here. However, our daughter Carolyn and her husband David, set a day aside to celebrate their own thanksgiving, and I think that is so wonderful. They say they are so blessed with their children (all believers) around them. Their eldest, Denise, is now married, to a man whose Christianity goes back to the Huguenot times!! They escaped from France, and yet each generation has kept the faith.”
I know that I had more observations to share, but it is time to make lunch for my husband. I have been negligent to share the ifi notes and hope that some of you do go to their website and keep up that way. For those of you who find web pages a challenge (I’m one of those!), here are this weeks.
Oops…update first. Some have asked – thank you SO much for your prayers! No, our older daughter and family have STILL not found a place to live. They looked at 2 two bedroom places yesterday…but with 3 children (the third due early Feb) and husband needing a studio (he is an artist) I am praying that they can afford a larger place. My husband is healing slowly, but he IS healing and we need patience and a tender, thankful heart. Our younger daughter is enjoying her work in a plant nursery and sales and her eye (which will have the stitches taken out in April) is still doing well. I am SOO thankful!
I owe SOOO many letters and emails…and I DO apologize. If you only knew how much I write in my head…
May He be glorified in our lives…may we look up and worship Him ALL along the path! Lovingly, your sis