23 Elul, 5768
Do you see those red roofed houses nestled so nicely on the hill? That's Mitzpe Hoshaya, a religious community in the Galilee. Nice, isn't it? Happiness is the rebuilding of the land of Israel (See Or HaChaim on Deuteronomy 26:1).
I took the picture from the ruins of Tzipori. Tzipori was an important town in the land of Israel after the destruction of the Second Temple. The Sanhedrin, the High Court of Jewish Law, was here for a while. Many remains from the Mishnaic era have been found here. For me the most impressive find was the ancient synagogue of Tzipori. It has a mosaic floor with several different motifs:
Could you make out the seven branched Menorah? The Rambam holds that the branches of Menorah were straight and not curved. In every ancient depiction of the Menorah that I seen here in Israel the branches are curved. Of course this has no bearing on deciding halacha.
I don't know if I will be posting again before the New Year. There are so many preparations to be made.
May you all be written and sealed in the Book of Life. In 5769 may we rejoice in the rebuilding of the land of Israel and the banishing of God's enemies from it. Amen.