For months now you’ve been reading my writing in the newsletters and posts online, but I never officially introduced myself. How rude! My name is Zalman Nelson, and I have been living in Tsfat since making aliyah 5 years ago. Among my many jobs, I have the pleasure of being part of the Chabad of Hebron team. But this Yom Kippur I was up close and personal: I spent Yom Kippur in Hebron with my oldest son.
The city was full of Jews of all kinds, as well as a warm, peaceful feeling of unity and togetherness. Friday night, after davening, I walked the holy streets and recited tehillim in the Yitzhak Hall – my first time ever in that section. As uplifting and inspiring as it was, the Machpela experience didn’t hit me until morning davening, in the Shmoneh Esrei, as I said, “G-d of Avraham, G-d of Yitzhak, G-d of Yakov” – and there they were right before me! The beauty, joy, pride, and awe of being Jewish became even more real in the moment.
Our Chabad of Hebron minyan was strong and together all day long, united in prayer, hearts, and song, as soldiers and fellow guests joined in. And as the sun set on the holiest day of the year, when we are closet to our Father in Heaven, I found myself wishing it would go on forever. Can’t wait to go back…see you there. Meanwhile, let’s be in touch with any question, comments, or ideas you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org