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  • Writer's pictureMatt Hines

Shabbat Shalom!

Shabbat is such a special day. It represents the seventh day when, after creating this universe, God rested. Jewish people take this day so seriously that in Israel the entire nation pretty much shuts down every Saturday. We began our Friday with team devotion and prayer, breakfast with our new friends, then a taxi ride to the bazaar in Ostroda. Bazaar is a fancy word for “flea market.” It’s interesting to observe the difference in culture at such a place. Americans are all about personal space; Europeans, not so much. It was also fun to notice the kinds of things the Holocaust Survivors gravitated towards. Lisa, Sarah, and I found ourselves joined by several of the ladies we’ve met who were also trying on pretty blouses in a corner shop. The men carry the bags and pull out their wallets at the appropriate time. LOL. That’s very familiar. They also seemed to be drawn to shoes and gifts for their grandchildren. The fresh strawberries and cherries were also very popular. After lunch, people had the option of making a sun-catcher craft, kayaking, or just resting. All were enjoyed. Matt and I went to a big supermarket to purchase food for an upcoming Savannah Day BBQ. That was interesting as well. We probably took twice as long as necessary but it’s kind of mesmerizing to see all the different products they offer in Poland. The highlight of the day, without question, was Shabbat. We experienced the traditional Torah reading and prayers, followed by a nice meal, then a special evening service. We ladies joined in a dance to a Jewish song called Hallelu Et Adonai. That was really fun, but let’s just say that you’re never going to see me on Dancing With the Stars! The evening culminated with a concert featuring piano and violin. We didn’t understand many of the words since they sang in Hebrew, but that didn’t matter. It was beautiful!

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