Monday, December 10, 2012

Israel, Such a Small Country, I Can Make a Day Trip to The South

Yesterday I met f2f some friends with whom I generally meet on the internet.  We may use facebook for daily group contact, but we, even the youngest who are my childrens' age, prefer the real thing, f2f meetings.  The social media doesn't rate compared to sitting around a table together talking and eating or walking around checking out stores together.

A couple of months ago we met up in Jerusalem, coming from as far afield as the Netivot area, Gush Etzion, Beit Shemesh, Hashmonayim and Shiloh.  We decided that the next f2f get-together would be in the south, Netivot to be specific.  And yesterday was the day.  We came from as far north as Netanya and Elon Moreh, making my Shiloh look a lot more convenient.  There were also women from Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Jerusalem, Beit Shemsh, Shiloh and the south.  I hope I didn't leave anyone out.

We're all busy people, but we made time for this get-together.  I'm embarrassed to say that I wasn't the only one who admitted that I hadn't really been in Netivot before.  You'd think it on the moon or something. 

Being carless, the logistics of getting from Shiloh to Netivot and back, by a combination of buses, tremps, aka rides and a healthy dose of Siyate d'Shmaya, the help/hand of G-d, can be rather nerve-wracking at times.  But even after my ride from Jerusalem to Netivot had to cancel barely twelve hours before take-off everything ended up beyond fantastic. 

Risa aka Isramom ended up leaving from Jerusalem by car, and I had a fantastic tremp which left me off a short walk from her apartment.  We had a great time together, and Netivot ended up much closer than we had expected.

We've all gotten a different perspective of the trip.  Miriam, who lives near Netivot wrote this on her blog.

Living in the South, I want to tell my friends, how much I appreciated your effort and enjoyed spending the day you. You are always welcomed in my neck of the woods.

Miriam mentioned that I entered one of their portable bomb shelters and stretched out my arms to show how narrow they are. 

You must understand that I have very short arms.  Three quarter length sleeves look long on me and long ones just hang over my hands and get dirty. 

I don't think too many people can fit in these bomb shelters.  And considering how busy Netivot is and how large and how many stores, there certainly aren't enough of them or other safe options when attacked.

Yocheved and Miriam in a portable bomb shelter.
After walking and shopping on Netivot's main drag, we went to lunch at Greg's.

The food was delicious and the company even better.  Another of the bloggers in the group was A Soldier's Mother.

The jewelry was sold for charity.

And then after eating we went to the Tomb of the Baba Sali, who had been the main spiritual leader of Moroccan Jewry.


We heard amazing stories about him from one of our group.  There was constant "traffic" as people came in and out to pray.  We were even offered food for a bracha  blessing by one.

Photo by Ruti on the way to Beersheva

And then, sadly, too soon, we had to leave and make our ways back up north.  Ruti and I got a ride to Beersheva with Reesa.  We discovered the Beersheva bus station in the midst of major renovations and had to run to the nearby train station for a "pit stop" before taking the express bus to Jerusalem.  I got to the Jerusalem bus station just in time to catch a bus home.  I quickly set up my chanukiya, Chanukah menorah, made the blessings and lit it.

Chag Chanukah Sameach to all!


Miriam said...

Batya, super posting and super day..Thank-you for the including my blog.
Can't wait until we meet again imy"H.


rutimizrachi said...

It was a wonderful day! Thank you for making the bus ride back to Yerushalayim fly by with your interesting conversation. Looking forward to the next f2f!

Batya said...

Miriam (and Devora) thank you!!!
Ruti, I loved the trip back with you, thanks.
See you at games, tie scores only...

Risa Tzohar said...

Had a great time!

Batya said...

Yes, Risa, thanks. Must do these things more often.