When the world is on fire, nothing is as comforting nor as strangely empowering as surrounding oneself with family.
On Shabbat, we surrounded ourselves with our boys and our girls and our neighbors. There was food and laughter and song and silly, silly games. ("Dani, no one knows why you keep inviting us to play 'Hunger Games.' Of course everyone is going to eliminate you first. Duh. You are the most competitive person on the planet.") For twenty-five or so hours, we didn't think about the Middle East, or about the world.
Today, we gathered our other family, the Four-One-Oh Club, formerly known as Baltimoreans. Most if not all of us are former -- and forever! -- members of Rabbi Menachem and Rebbetzin Bracha Goldberger's Congregation Tiferes Yisroel. Not everyone could make it, but we know your hearts were here with us. There was food. There was laughter. The song was recorded, but was good, nonetheless; and instead of games, we played the game parents and grandparents prefer: catching each other up with what is going on with our amazing children and grandchildren. (How did those little kids suddenly end up parents of six kids???)
Because it's all about the people, here are some of the faces we love. Those who know, know.
|Dani had to fight with the Neve Daniel winds while he struggled to make those barbecue grills stay alight. Leave it to the ingenuity of Captain Crunch to solve the problem.
|A metal tub used by the Arab workmen for mixing concrete becomes Dani's barbecue windshield, supported by a couple of 30-pound weights. You go, Dani!
|Keren Bat Heyn reminds me of one of the great Vermeer paintings in this shot.
|Moshe Shaul, making everyone else smile and laugh with his jokes (ALWAYS clean), shares a smile of his own.
|Yehudis and Eileen, looking elegant.
|Ah, friends. When you love someone, there is such comfort in her presence.
|Nechama and Shoshana, so good to see you together in our home!
|Yes, we waited too long to feed Nisan...
|Son Avi and proud father Alvin
|A hug from a kid you watched grow up is good for what ails you.
|Tova and Dovid leave smiles wherever they go!
|Good to see you again, Moshe! And yes, I'll always be Mrs. E. Don't be scared. That's just the way it is. ;-)
|Aaron and Avi would have looked good anyway -- but somehow this shot is just right with the Israeli flag behind them.
|Aharon and Feige Rochel ("Just let everyone know that even though Avivah and her family couldn't make it, they are so very grateful for everyone's prayers. And she's doing great!")
|Baruch giving me his "Whadaya want from me?" shrug, which comes whenever I aim a camera at him. Just glad to have you here, friend.
|Shoshana, Keren, Sandra and Yehudis... how long have we been friends? Ages!
|When you invite Jews to a "bring your own beef (or alternative) and beverage barbecue," you get enough food to feed a small army. Which is what happened to the leftovers: they were transported to hungry soldiers. Thanks, Baruch and Avrum!
|Joani, somehow I failed to get a shot of you -- but you are there somewhere in Avrum's smile. Thank you so much for joining us!
|Hey, Pinchas! Thank you for dropping by and representing your family (some of whom were off dedicating a new community in memory of Eyal zt"l, Gil-ad zt"l, and Naftali zt"l).
|A man and his son-in-law
|Eileen, Ruti, Sandra, Keren and Feige Rochel
|Jerry and Avi
|A lovely new friend and fellow writer
|Alvin and Avrum
|Richard and Moshe Shaul
|Richard and Jerry
|Brothers and friends and brothers...
|Thank you, new friend, for helping to bring back our old friend's smile.
|Jerry and Eileen, thank you for inspiring this reunion!