The census is that you guys would like to see more of everyday life in Israel, so that’s what we’re going to share! There are two aspects to Shabbat in Jerusalem that I want to share – the first is how we are keeping (and loving!) Shabbat here, and the second is what it looks like outside our place, in the streets.
At home there is always the temptation to be too busy on Shabbat, and to be less organised in the week, but here is it a necessity. Shabbat is widely celebrated and kept quite religiously in Jerusalem. The first and second times we experienced this it was inconvenient and hard to imagine, but this time it is exciting to see, and fills me with much joy! There is virtually nothing open here, and that is so… refreshing.
Our shabbat routine is still very similar to at home, but with a few twists – things we can do here that we can’t do at home (like buy our challah and such cheap fresh flowers!).
On Friday we make sure everything at home is clean, and ready for the weekend. Then we head out to the shuk to get some challah, treats, and anything we will need for dinner, or for eating over the weekend. Usually we grab some hommus from the supermarket, meat to cook for shabbat, pitas, and fruit. Then we grab some flowers, and return home for naps and lunch (if we didn’t sneakily buy some while we were in the shuk!). We generally have had a play in the morning at the playground to start the day off right!
The boys have enjoyed picking out some flowers for me each Friday, or sometimes going with Luke to get them.
During or after naps we start making dinner (very limited oven space, and even more limited amount of trays to use in it!), and the boys potter around. In the late afternoon we sing Shabbat songs, and the boys play. As evening comes we eat together, do our regular routine (baths, PJs, etc.), and go to bed. Luke and I have been lucky that we’ve been able to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine together once the boys are in bed!
On Saturday, we don’t do much at all! We have breakfast, then hang around in our PJs. Luke and I take turns reading the Bible etc., and maybe taking the kids to the park. We just relax and enjoy each other’s company. I want to start doing more with Lior on Shabbat, but the last week or two he’s been watching Shalom Sesame. In the afternoon we might visit the Western Wall.
We wait for evening to come, do the havdalah, and then make and eat dinner. This ends up being pretty late, so it’s important that the boys have napped during the day, and that we eat something really simple for dinner (like eggs on toast – yum!).
The lift in operation on Shabbat in jerusalem – all the buttons permanently pressed
// The Shabbat Contrast (a video)
I’ve tried to explain before in both written and verbal words the huge contrast between the working week in Jerusalem and shabbat, but I just can’t manage to do it justice. A video is getting a little closer, but still, you need to come here to really experience it properly!
This is filmed on a busy, touristy Jerusalem walking street, and I love that even in a touristy area everything is still closed for Shabbat.