A Southwestern Shevuos Spectacle
This Shevuos a group of friends and I made the twelve hour trek to S. Fe, New Mexico.
There are so many photos (Seventy in all) that I've decided to split up the report into two posts.
I hope it was worth the wait . . .
Our first car was a dodge, but fitting five guys plus baggage into makes even a short ride a little cramped . . . and a twelve hour drive almost impossible. We switched up to a Kia Van.
As we went I snapped photos from the moving car . . .
Our first stop for gas in the high desert of California . . .
In Arizona . . .
Near Flagstaff and around halfway to our destination we stopped off for dinner.
Close to five in the morning we pulled into the Chabad House.
The next morning, Erev Shevuos we were given a tour of the Chabad House by the children of the Shliach.
The Chabad house in essence is a converted home -with classrooms (our rooms), an office for the Rabbi, a shul, a library, and a place to schmooze (formally the living room).
As well a tent was setup outside to serve for larger crowds . . .
The children were eager to point out a bird's nest that had been made in the tent . .
But the large crows that attended the reading of the Aseres Hadibros (Ten commandments) frightened the mother bird . . . the next day she moved the chicks, leaving an empty nest behind.
After a rather late breakfast we took a tour around The Plaza -downtown S. Fe . . .
It was nice . . .
In an Adventure Land in Disney Land type of nice . . .
Nothing felt real, it all seemed to come out of a film studio's lot.
We stopped by a large park, but when we saw the rather unsavory crowd hanging around its benches we split . . .
Only to have a homeless man follow us.
After several attempts to shake off 'buddy' we went into El Dorado Hotel -the only building with more then two floors (it has five) . . .
From there we got several shots of the city.
Looking for a better vantage point I suggested trying the fourth floor.
There was no porch to take pictures from . . . but we did bump into a South African couple.
We spoke and played Jewish Geography -for one, like most South African Jews they had their roots in Lithuania.
There's no escaping it . . . is there?
Back in Chabad we brought in the holiday of Shevuos and the giving of the Torah.
The Jewish community has some rather interesting figures -many of them working in Los Alamos.
We asked one, a man with a slightly 'Litvishe' tint (and I don't mean that he's from South Africa), if he worked with Nuclear bombs.
He looked up from his Gemara and tisked,
"If I did, I couldn't tell you . . ."
Another member told of his experiences flying planes, gliders, hot-air balloons . . . and his battle against a fleshing eating bacteria that almost took his life -putting him in a coma for several weeks and leading to the amputation of his legs below the knee . . . Despite the obstacles he remains a very strong person - I didn't realize that he was standing on metal polls until several hours after meeting him!
I gave a class on the Taryag (613) commandments, discussing what they were, when they were applicable . . .
We ended with a farbrengen . . .
. . . and kiddush levana
Saying goodbye to two of the Shliach's kin-ayn-hora'dike cute kids
A partial group photo -S. took the picture.
Thus ends part one . . . stay tuned for part two!
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