My Shabbat Dinner in Nazareth (of all places)

Volunteering with the husband and wife duo behind Bameateva Arts and Crafts "center" after my quick Jerusalem trip was an interesting experience...
My Israeli host, Dagan) works on the musical playground kit that he and his wife are making that was commissioned by a nearby school. It's made to last through all sorts of weather and annoy teachers as much as possible.
First of all, their center/home was in the northerly town of Megiddo, which in Hebrew essentially means Armageddon. That's always a nice thing to think about when you go somewhere new.

But I was going there neither to find Ben Affleck nor the end of the world; I was just doing a work exchange through Wwoof Israel.

After nearly two weeks, I can't claim that I've gotten much work done per se,  but...there is no but. I just didn't do much work, and it was nice. It's hard to motivate when the hosts can't lay out what they expect/want from you. So, I mostly spent my time cooking, taking pictures of kittens, yoga-ing, sanding wood pieces, and leisurely hanging out with the family (that being Dagan & Ines, their infant son, four-year-old daughter, and two grown daughters that didn't actually want to hang out with the strange American girl with a boy's haircut).
Momma pulled a fast one on her nursing kits
Natural beads and wood pieces to be made into official jewelry pieces.
Some beautifully baked local fish, a recipe from Dagan's mother with potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, and wonderful, wonderful flavor.
I guess it was more of a homestay than a work exchange, and if the hosts are ok with that, I'm ok with that. And I was more-than-ok with the Shabbat dinner we shared with their family in Nazareth (and yes, I'm talking about Jesus' Nazareth...).
Shabbat comes every Saturday and is the weekly Jewish day of rest. It's like the Christian Sunday, wherein many people who aren't typically religious decide to worship for a day, mainly through resting (this cynical statement does not, of course, apply to the devout).
My very first Shabbat table.
Ines and Dagan's mom discussing food
Five cooking pans people. Five. Pans.
Sitting among this Israeli family, eating home-cooked food, hearing the Shabbat prayers, and ending the night with a little vinyl, I was reminded how lucky I am to take part in something so authentically unlike anything I'd ever experienced.
You guessed it: Chicken and vegetable soup

My glorious Shabbat plate: ubiquitous cucumber/tomato salad, stewed apricot chicken, fried chicken cutlets, beef stew, and mashed potatoes.
Dagan's father reads from the Torah before the meal
The traditional blessing and breaking of challah bread
Most non-Jewish tourists come to Israel, get hotels, and watch things from afar. Here I was in the thick of it, accepted as a temporary family member and being shown what real life is like in Israel.

I wouldn't want to travel any other way.
It ain't dinner without pickles. amiright?
Simon & Garfunkel? Paul Anka? The Temptations? Where am I?? It wasn't tradition, but it was certainly glorious.
The cousins gettin' their kippah on, the traditional Jewish cap that serves to remind wearers of Heaven's presence above them
The Kiddush ceremony of prayer ending with the blessing and passing of wine

Soon I'll be heading back to my temporary home in Eilat where, you might remember, I nearly went crazy from staying too long without getting out of the city. Let's see how I fare this time, shall we?

No comments:

Post a Comment



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...