Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shabbat in Mitzpe Ramon

It was a lovely spring Shabbat day in Mitzpe Ramon. The temperature was warm but pleasant, somewhere in the low 90s but the traditional low humidity and light breeze kept things comfortable, at least in the shade.

I count 6 Shabbat minyans, possibly 7. There is the crater shul, just up the street from us, with an Ashkenazic minyan on one side and a Sephardic minyan on the other. Then there is the main Sephardic shul and the Chabad down the street toward the center of town, followed by the kolel yeshiva minyan and the shul just up the street from them. Sometimes the high school yeshiva boys stay in town and they have another large minyan across the park from the crater shul.

The crater shuls -- Sephard on the left, Ashkenaz on the right

The minyans all start at various times, most around 8:00, with Chabad being the latest at 10:00. I almost always go to Chabad and see people going to and fro from shul thorughout the old section of town where we live between 9:30 and 10:00 in the morning. After shul there is usually a large continget that gathers throughout the day at the bird's nest eerie overlooking the machtesh just up Nachal Gerofit. There eveyone seems gaily dressed in white, with the boys wearing white shirts and khaki pants. The women's head coverings are alll white, some spangled with sparklers of various kinds, others with colors. I never thought I would see white as a "gay" color, but it seems to be when everyone wears it for Shabbat. Although Chasidim traditionally wear black, non-chasidic religious Israelis all seem to wear white on Shabbat and holidays.

There is a languid and lazy atmosphere around town in the afternoon. Lots of people walking to and fro, and occasionally the hippies jamming in an apartment near us. The dogs run around and bark at people, while children play in the park. Later, I sleep and wake for minyan, skipping Shalos Seudos.


  1. BS"D

    Nice blog, you're having. I LOVE Mizphe Ramon!

    When I'm in Israel/Mizphe Ramon I always visit the Ashkenazi one, next to the above pictured Sefardi.

    There are at least 2 more synagogues which I visited aswell. A Breslev synagogue and a Sefardi/Mizrachi in the other side of town, which is attented by quite some Indian Jews (a couple of friends of mine).

    I once counted the number of synagogues in Mizphe, with a friend of mine. I believed it's 10 or 11.

    Jom naiem!

  2. I know there are alot, but I didn't realize there were that many shuls. I'll have to check them out. I know two of the Indian Jews because they are a brother/sister pair who work at the CafeNeto.


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