Monday, May 15, 2017

Back to Chicago

Ramat Bet Shemesh
Today is another travel day. Just wanted to say what a wonderful trip it was. My grnadosn Mordechai read his Parsha and the Haftora  at a private family Minyan last Shabbos. After which over 30 family members joined in a festive and delicious Shabbos Seudah in the dining hall of the Shul.

Last Monday night was Mordechai's actual Bar Mitzvah - the 'Bo Bayom' and there was a lovely reception where he delivered his Drahsa.

I cannot hold back the pride I feel in my family. I only wish upon all of Klal Yisroel the kind of Nachas my wife and I feel.

One more thing. The people of Ramat Bet Shemesh are some of the nicest people I know. They go out of their way to show hospitality to their out of town guests. My wife and I were made to feel like old time members of the community. Most of the people I meet there are Charedi. But the apartment we leased for the occasion was on a street filled with Dati Leumi families. There were plenty of Israeli flags displayed along the way.

English is as frequently heard there as is Hebrew. Americans would feel very comfortable there.

Everyone seemed to get along just fine too. The so-called fighting between Charedim and Datim was non existent as far as I could see. I even saw some Chiloni children playing with Charedi and Dati children on Shabbos in a small park there. Mothers were standing or sitting around there and seemed quite content with what they saw.

All of which indicates to me that a lot of the internecine strife that is reported about this community is sometimes blown way out of proportion. Not that there aren't problems. Of course there are. Every community has them. But even with these problems life goes on, people are friendly, and everyone seems to get along.

Perhaps that's why there is such an explosion of construction there. I never saw anything like it. The demand must be pretty high. Entire suburbs are being built all around that area. When my son first moved there - there was just one Ramat Bet Shemesh. Now there are several with a lot more new ones on the way. Before it's all over Bet Shemesh and its suburbs will be one of the largest cities in Israel.

It is an amazing sight. Just thought I'd mention it. I will resume posting again from Chicago on Tuesday.