Tag Archives: beit knesset

Shabbat Night Walk Home

Walking home on a Friday night is a wonderfully relaxing experience.   Now that spring and summer are here, and the sun sets later, I discovered a local beit knesset that starts earlier, and my walk home is… distinctly Israeli.

Today on my walk, I decided to document this walk home and  share my experience.

The walk home starts at the top of the Ma’alot hill near the “water tower” and winds through a cluster of pine trees, past the aging skateboard park and then across the street.  This is where I start taking pictures.

Path Home

A Fork in the Path

This fork in the path leads to two paths, both in the same direction – to the right.  The one to the right is on the up-hill side and the other is the down-hill side.

Up-Hill Path

The Up-Hill Path

For today, I took the up-hill path, both are equally pleasant.  The oleanders are coming into bloom!

Option 1

Option One

There are many options to go from one path to another.  Benches are available for relaxing.

The High Road

Just enough lighting to make it safe.

Option Thee

Option Three - another option to get home

Stop and breathe!  Smell the pines?  Smell the rosemary?  Smell the fresh clean air?


Almost home - what a view!

We pick up an access road right outside Eli Cohen, the beit knesset in front.  Eli Cohen (the beit knesset) was named after an Israeli spy who worked his way up the Syrian government.

Eli Cohen told Syria to plant trees near the boarder and hide their tanks there.  Eli Cohen told Israel to bomb clusters of trees near the boarder.  Needless to say, Syria took a bad beating in that war.  Unfortunately, Eli Cohen was executed for being a spy.

Access Road

Access Road

This access road leads to bottom of the hill and our street – Keren HaYesod.  At the bottom of the hill, make a right.

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod

Keren HaYesod is one of the oldest streets in Ma’alot.  Our house is just past the peak on the right.

The Stairs

30 Steps Up to Our Door

That’s it.  After 30 steps and through our door, candles will be burning, the table is prepared and there are the sounds of happy family voices.

Shabbat Shalom!


Filed under Ma'alot, Moving to Israel

Ohel Avraham – The Heartbeat of Our Neighborhood

I debate in my mind if Ohel Avraham is a special place, or just one of the hundreds, if not thousands of community, or “corner”Beit Knessiot.

Let me tell you about Ohel Avraham and you can decide.

Ohel Avraham on Rechov HaIris - Ma'alot

Ohel Avraham on Rechov HaIris - Ma'alot

At Ohel Avraham you will find the staples found in a successful minyan – the baal tefilah, whose voice fills the room with ease, the timely one(s) who ensure that Hodu starts at 6:00 am – sharp, the gabbi who gives the warmest, heartfelt mishaberachs, the “candyman”, and a whole gang of others – business owners, employees, soldiers, students, and now – olim chadashim.

One works in real estate, another works in military defense, and yet another will come and fix your pluming problems.  I even got my arba minim (best ever) from a member of Ohel Avraham.  There is no rabbi, but the words of Torah are spoken by those called upon.

Hokafot during Chol HaMoed

Hoshanot during Chol HaMoed

Over the chag I have seen fathers and sons, grandparents and grandchildren, and in-laws.  I get the feeling the members have grown up together and are, is some way, a big family themselves.

There is camaraderie and synergy.

The View from my Seat Inside

The View from my Seat Inside

Ohel Avraham is on Iris street, or Rechov HaIris, the oldest free-standing-home residential street in Ma’alot, dating back nearly 40 years.  HaIris follows the curve of one of the many hillsides in Ma’alot, and services houses at street-level and those on the hillside – both above and below.   Beit Knesset Ohel Avraham is picturesquely, and conveniently positioned near the center of HaIris.

I have been in other “corner” Beit Knessiot and have found them to be delightfully energetic and sincere – so I know that Ohel Avraham is not unique.   But then I was told recently by another oleh that Ohel Avraham has a “bunch of great guys in it”.  I guess he has noticed it too – so maybe it is special.

These Beit Knessiot are the places where the people of Israel go to pray, where friends are made, where simchot are held, and the feeling of community is still alive and well.   These are the places that keep Torah alive.

These are the heartbeats of the land.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized