The strangest thing happened over Shabbat. David always fixes my Shabbat lights for me before candlelighting on Friday afternoons. First he fills seven little glass cups halfway with colored water, and the other half he fills with olive oil. Then he puts them on the candelabra, adds the wicks, and I'm ready to go. Usually the candles burn anywhere from four to six hours. This morning when we sat down to lunch around 11 AM, David noticed that one of the candles was still burning. It stayed lit until 11:30 - almost 16 hours!
That would seem to be almost impossible. What would keep that flame going for so long? It didn't have any more oil in it than any of the other candles, or for that matter, any more than it usually contained. How could it possibly have burned for so long?! Burning sixteen hours isn't even close to burning for eight days, but still ... very strange, indeed.
Today was also my husband's English birthday. Happy Birthday to David! We didn't do anything special. The two of us had Shabbat lunch at home alone, which is what he wanted, and then David took a long Shabbat nap while I went down to Penina's to play mahj. I came back in time to share Seudat Shlishi (the third meal) with him.
Mahj was really fun. It was also the second time this week we played. Thursday was the celebration of Israel's 60th birthday, and Yom Hatzmaut is a very important holiday for most Israelis (Hareidi Jews don't celebrate Israel Independence Day because they don't believe that we should be celebrating a state when 1) Moshiach hasn't yet come and 2) there's a secular government not based on Torah values. We personally celebrate because Jews have a homeland to come home to IN SPITE OF having a secular government. So David, Miryam, Shaya and I planned to go to Migron which is a settlement on the next hill from ours. It's basically home to about 60 families, most of them living in caravans (trailers). Migron is in the news frequently because the government is always threatening to dismantle it. Someone planned a whole day of festivities there, with moonwalks and activities for the kids, booths, speeches, the whole bit. They wouldn't let anyone drive up there because there's nowhere to park, so we went to the shopping area where the shuttle buses were leaving from. There were hundreds of people waiting for rides; families with strollers and a million kids with backpacks and coolers. After half an hour of milling around and not making it onto any of the buses, we finally left. We old folk just aren't up to
all that excitement anymore.
So we headed home, picked up Emma and some food we had waiting, and headed to Penina and Pinchus' where we were expected for a BBQ. Pinchus and David barbequed the chicken and we got the rest of the food ready. It was just like the 4th of July (although if it was really the 4th of July, I'd be sad that I wasn't celebrating it with my older son back in chutz l'aretz whose birthday happens to be on that day). After we cleaned up the tables, we women pulled out the mahj game, while the menfolk were at the next table playing Spades. Emma had fun playing with Choco, even though Choco wouldn't let Emma have one of the two rawhide bones I brought for them. We didn't come home until late that evening. What a fun day!
And tomorrow starts the work week. I have an office staff meeting at noon, and then another meeting with the fundraisers at 1 pm. Tomorrow's my day to work in the evening, but if I have to go in early I don't think I'll stay until 10 PM. I'm looking forward to Tuesday - there's an all day writer's conference in Bayit Vegan that I signed up for. I went to this last year and really enjoyed it. Plus - Leah, the woman who organizes it, puts out a Writer's Journal and I have two pieces that are being published in it. I can't wait to get my copy!