On Friday morning I woke up pretty early to go to the Kotel and get a start on the short day. It was Rosh Chodesh again so it was fairly crowded, even at 7:30 AM. Then went to Geulah for some shopping. Geulah was not the typical hustle and bustle when I got there, I guess it was still early for that, which was fine with me. I experienced all of that and many previous trips to Israel, especially my year in seminary. Picked up gifts for Chanie's kids and some things for Shabbat, including a candy arrangement for my friend Rochel (M) F's baby's Shalom Zachor. It worked out so nicely that she had her baby while I was in Israel so I was able to be there. After Geulah, I took a bus up to Machane Yehuda. There is nothing like the Shuk on Friday. One of my favorite places. Also not too crowded, as it was maybe only 10 AM or so. Wandered around, picked up a nice pomelo and some other produce and then walked all the way to the back to Marzipan for some famous rugelach. I also picked up a whole wheat challah there which was very good. Back to Chanie's to help her get the kids ready.
Shabbat in Yerushalayim is like nothing else in the world. After lighting all 8 candles (Zot Chanukah) and welcoming Shabbat, we took the kids to Rochel's so they could say shema with the baby before his bris. After dinner, we went back for the Shalom Zachor. It was great to be there for Rochel's simcha. On the way home it started pouring! First rain since I got to Israel and very late in the season. Shabbat morning it was still raining so I did not go to the bris, but it cleared up in the afternoon so I went to visit good friends Abish & Esti R and baby Shevi. Before I knew it, it was time for Seudat Shlishit and Havdalah. Chanie took me over to meet her friend Elana (W) R, who, it turned out, knows my roommate and other friends. What a small world!