Friday, January 21, 2011

Snorkeling & mountains

Saturday, January 22
Exodus 18:1 thru 20:23

Something strange and personal is happening with the Torah Portion.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know we are not on a specific schedule in Israel.

Plans for September through December, yes, we planned a bit in advance, but....

Here in Israel we are praying for direction.

So it shouldn't seem so surprising that last week's portion had the Israelites crossing the Red Sea, and that this week we have walked along the Red Sea in Eilot, Israel.

Today I snorkeled in the Red Sea IN THE SINAI!  It was one of those 'pinch me' life experiences.  "Is this really happening?" I wondered as I swam through (and in) a school of fish along the most beautiful coral reef on earth.  Did anyone on the surface hear me laugh aloud under water?

National Geographic has a dive center just 2000 meters down the beach.  Anet, the Israeli travel agent in Eilot who booked our hotel was right.  "WOW."  "Amazing!"

I was in the W.C. on the Egyption side of the border when an Immigrations officer chased me outside, with unexplained urgency.  Seems there was a 'left bag' that needed to be inspected.  As in Israel, there is tight security.  When vehicles enter the hotel gate, a guard runs a mirror along the underside of the van.  We feel safe here and are enjoying Egypt, actually surprised to be here as this leg was not expected.

Wednesday we were in Jordan, at Petra.  Who knew? 

The Portion this week has Moses up top Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.  Is it coincidence that we ended up being camped just kilometers from what Egyptians call 'Moses' mountain?  We hope to climb to the top next week.

Looking back, when we first booked time-share weeks for our trip, we had no idea our first Shabbat away from home would be on Simchat Torah, which was the first reading in the annual Torah cycle.

It seems more and more that God is leading (and protecting!) us on our journey.  Who knew?

We are ever grateful.

Moses said to the Israelites in Exodus 20:20:  "Do not be afraid, for God has come only in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may be ever with you, so that you do not go astray."

We are not afraid, but are continually amazed.

Next week I'll let you know what happens on the mountain!

Thanks for reading Saturday Chores.

Next week: Exodus 21:1 thru 24:18

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