To All My Friends…

I arrived safely today in Jerusalem. I am amazed at every conversation. I had 24 hours in Tel Aviv with my fellow One Drum musician Dr Jeff Green before I came here by bus. Thru the Damascus Gate and in to the hostel.  Tomorrow I will journey to Ramallah to meet with a Palestinian friend who produces a music festival. Maybe there will be future music exchanges.

I am humbled and  grateful for the support that came through RUM, Stan and the folks that donated to make my trip possible. I feel  alive to the rest of the world and excited for our reunin to tell stories.  Thanks also to Rockford people who came this path before and offered advice  Stan, Ada, Nancy, Nate, Eric, and Dave Martin. Love to Carrie and Netha, and Sara for holding hearts with Ian while I am here…and to my mom, dad, in California emma and luke  for giving their blessing on this haj.

Today was a Jewish high holiday. Succot. (sp?) People make little tents in their yard open to the to heaven. They invite friends and family to come in the tent and talk about tradition and the meaning of a spiritual path.  There is a story about four elemental herbs. One with taste and no smell, one with smell and no taste, one with neither taste nor smell, and one with smell and taste. In Succot, the herbs are laid out and explored.  We are to learn that a life of spirituality- or pious religiosity with no deeds is just as hollow as a life with deeds that have no spirituality.  Of course we know people who lack spirituality and do nothing (in the US we call them couch potatoes) By metaphor, we are thus called to be like the herb with taste and smell.

I was nearly the only rider on the local #1 bus to the Old City from the terminal downtown in Jerusalem.  Two stops later the bus filled with the Hassidic-Orthodox Jewish men leaving worship gatherings.  They have long curls at the temples and big fuzzy round hats and long black coats that look like satin bathrobes.  I was the only one of me!  It was funny but I learned to say “Hag sameya” (phonetic..sorry) for ‘Happy holidays” and they alerted me to my right stop, so I wouldnt ride on into the night…remember the song?? Help get Charlie off the MTA!