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Kodesh v'Chol- Holy- and Everyday

Posted on 07/22/2011 @ 10:48 AM

The theme of today was Kodesh v’Chol- Holy and Everyday. We began by making the transition from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, cities with decidedly Kodesh v’Chol reputations. Upon arrival in Tel Aviv we explored the idea of the “Altneuland” described by Theodore Herzl . The early Zionists developed Tel Aviv as a way of abandoning the special or otherness they felt in Europe and embracing a “normal” society by modernizing the reclaimed land.

We wrestled over the ideas of the strong New Jew described in the poetry of Chaim Nachman Bialik while sitting in his home. As we toured the neighborhood we could see the tension between new and old in the architecture of the city. The prevalence of International, cutting edge, modern design was highlighted through the many International style or Bauhaus style buildings.

We spent the afternoon exploring the artist market at Nahalat Binyamin. The crafts and their makers exuded Kodesh v’Chol as we investigated stalls with hand painted Challah covers, intricate stone and metal worked Judaica, jewelry and even children’s toys.

We met back at the hotel for a Hebrew class focused on the shoresh  קדשbefore preparing for our first Erev Shabbat in Israel.

The group traveled to the boardwalk at the port of Tel Aviv to participate in an alternative Kabbalat Shabbat experience. While the sun set over the Mediterranean we listened to and sang a variety of old familiar tunes and new renditions of secular songs like It’s A Wonderful Life b’Ivrit. The contrast between busy Tel Aviv Friday night life and the Kabbalat Shabbat next to the sea were another example of Kodesh v’Chol.

We closed the evening with delicious Shabbat dinner back at our hotel and then everyone headed off in different directions to explore the Kodesh v’Chol of a Tel Aviv Shabbat.

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