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  • Opening Up to the Bigger Picture

    What does it mean to focus on the 99% of reality? A challenge such as listening to someone complain about something or someone, may temporarily cause a focus on the 1% of reality rather than the 99%. It's natural to temporarily get caught on the rock of anger, judgment and criticism. Being caught on a rock could also be an opportunity to wait and listen for one word or sentence which could be the tiny opening to the power of light, intuition, possibility, joy, and source energy. If our mind is a jumble of thoughts, we may find ourselves returning to a joyful dream perhaps while walking in the woods causing us to forget time and our to-do list. If we are drawn in by the dream current, there may be a manifestation that has something to do with our unique way of channeling the creator. Yitzi's latest poem Head amongst the flowers Back against the tree The field of dandelions The sun through the canopy It’s funny how You can be in a hole Of stress, of phones, of tiredness, of sickness And then you dare to crawl out of your hole And the sun’s shining Oh, how the sun’s shining And all you can see and feel Is the gentle buzz of the world The bees are like tiny little friends The leaves, lime green, like gifts from the upper worlds They fall slow like snowflakes And the birds Oh, the birds They seem to sing the sweetest notes an ear could hear Like honey are their whistles Dripping into your ear So whatever you make of yourself Whatever hole you dig Tower you build for yourself Don’t forget this world The one that stands within and beyond Where you’ve been, where you’re going Yes, it’s here, large and tiny Buried within your churnings Waiting to burst open around you Once again written by Yitzi Gittelsohn

  • Ha Long, Hanoi and Home

    Our Ha Long Bay Peony Cruise experience included becoming relaxed in a van, with 12 other Westerners traveling from Ninh Binh, because we thought we were all set for being dropped off at the dock where we would be whisked away on a cruise ship. After three hours, the van driver pulled over to the side of the road and began gesturing for us to get out of the van. We still had about 30 minutes to go, so we all sat frozen until the van driver turned red, yelled at us in Vietnamese, and gestured much more emphatically. There were other vans along the side of the road. Van drivers spoke in Vietnamese. Tourists were confused and a little panicked. I watched my suitcase come out of the back of the van, and then go back into the van before I grabbed it and went around to the different non-English speaking drivers showing them our cruise reservation on my phone. Miraculously, we made it to the dock with our luggage and it was smooth sailing from there. On our three-day cruise through Ha Long Bay, a limestone paradise with 2000 islands, they fed us way too much and then helped us burn a few calories. First, we went for an island bike ride that included a fish massage. In the photo, hundreds of little fish are gently nibbling at my feet. Although Piranha crossed my mind, I trusted the tour guide and discovered that the biggest challenge was overcoming being ticklish. Next, we went for a cave hike on Ca Ba Island. According to local legend, once upon a time, all women on the island had to take care of homes, logistics, and transportation while all the men were off fighting wars defending the island. At this time, the island was called ‘Các Bà’ or simply ‘Women’ island. This stalagmite is shaped like a woman sitting and holding/making something. If you are ever in Hanoi you may want to think about indulging in a few passions such as the Madam Hien restaurant. Traditional Vietnamese and French-influenced food in an appealing historic atmosphere with the nicest staff was a treat. Paul liked the store with both modern guitars and traditional instruments. I loved learning from kind young women about how to make traditional tea. I bought the clay teapot. It does make a difference, if you use it correctly. Thanks for the memories Vietnam. Below is a screenshot of a family chat. Right now I'm happy to be home where I can have loved one's over for tea. Stay tuned. Vietnam videos are still being edited.

  • The Wonder of Ninh Binh

    When people ask us about our trip, we typically explain that we are on our third winter escape workation. This doesn't explain why we are in Vietnam rather than Florida or Mexico. The mystery continued to unravel in Ninh Binh. Our Ruby Homestay host, Ruby, laughed a lot, communicated with Google Translate, and liked to offer Shakshuka for breakfast. His wife was also sweet and laughed a lot while mopping our entire room (floors and walls). She then explained the art of using the dehumidifier setting in this humid country. We should have learned more about why Ruby loved offering an Israeli breakfast. Adorable animals thrive in the humid climate. Buddist drumming called us as we chose our daily outings. Small family-run experiences are my favorite. UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Trang An can be pretty good too. Three hours drifting through mountains, caves, and ancient temple islands, on a rowboat, was a bit long, yet beautiful. After Paul and I returned from the Bich Dong Pagoda in Ninh Binh, I said to him "Did you notice the Buddhist nun among the many tourists?" He did not notice the ageless woman in a sackcloth-type outfit sitting on a marble ledge perfectly still among the swarm of tourists. She caught my eye. Later, I read that the Bich Dong Pagoda has not been occupied since the 1700s. Although Paul developed the habit of cutting his hair during the pandemic, he decided to finally choose a barbershop here in this country. Later we went for a walk and noticed a giant factory amidst the beautiful mountains. Coming up next: Ha Long Bay, Hanoi, and more videos for your viewing pleasure.

  • Walks, Rocks and Rivers

    Above is the Tam Tòa church ruins, in Dong Hoi, as a Vietnam War relic. The church, built in the 17th century, was destroyed by American bombing in 1965. It is also a reminder of the conflict here between church and state because there have been ongoing disputes between the government wanting to keep the ruins as a war symbol and the Catholic church wanting to restore the church for religious purposes. For more information click here We're looking forward to exploring the caves in Phong Nha in a few days. We have enjoyed the beauty of the canals, gardens and coast in peaceful Dong Hoi. Pine tree topiary reminds me of Vermont. Was it the full moon? In our minds we thought we were going to spend an afternoon, or at least a couple of hours, enjoying large sand dunes and a beach. When we arrived, someone was waiting for us with a four-wheeler. He drove us to the top of a large dune and handed us a sled. Because of the language barrier, he communicated with us with a quick physical demo on how to use the sled and then watched me take off directly into a faceplant. After spitting many times to avoid sand entering my throat, I discovered that I could not get the sled going again so walked to the bottom of the dune and waited, while continuing to spit and brush myself off, for our friend with the four-wheeler, to drive us back to the taxi. Although we hadn't asked the taxi to wait, he somehow knew we were not going to stay. On the way back to our hotel Paul pointed out that I still had sand in my nostril. Later, that same day, we decided to return to a restaurant discovered on our first night in Dong Hoi. We had nice memories of a kind English-speaking waiter who helped us choose fish or vegetarian within the authentic menu listing many dishes containing animal parts such as ears, stomachs, and you can imagine. Because I had ordered mackerel our first time at the restaurant, I decided to order carp. Although I had enjoyed carp in the fish loaf form of gefilte fish, I had never eaten simply grilled carp. The waiter seemed surprised because I had informed him that I did not want meat. I tried to explain that I do eat fish. He brought me a large plate with everything cut into bite-sized pieces in lots of sauce. The texture, I thought during the first bite, seems more dense than fish and has no resemblance to gefilte fish. I was hungry and open to the new experience of carp. Wait, I don't think this is fish, were my second bite thoughts. I remembered the various animal parts on the menu and spit into a napkin. "Taste this," I said to Paul in a state of irrational emotion. He was understandably reluctant. The waiter was deeply apologetic for the Google Translate error on the menu. Carp was pork. I don't think it was pork ears. After I was able to compose myself, I admitted to learning an important lesson about traveling. The waiter assured me that the replacement grilled eggplant with peanut sauce had no meat. The next night we went to a vegan restaurant in Phong Nha beginning our journey into the land of giant caves. After our magnificent Phong Nha Cave journey (5 miles long, 300 feet high, 14 grottoes), Paul and I rejected several dinner restaurants taking us on a longer walk because we were meant to stumble upon a restaurant named Bella that, among other dishes served in a relaxed atmosphere by the riverfront, there was carp listed numerous times. To clarify that it wasn't pork, the menu reassured me with a translation that said fish carp braised with tomatoes, or braised with pickled vegetables, or served in a clay pot, or grilled with fresh turmeric. The grilled was delish though I had to watch carefully for little bones. Tuesday we biked into the gentle countryside. Small villages, farms, and freely roaming farm animals abound. Minimally attended cow families walk through the streets here. Wednesday we went for an exquisite and challenging hike that involved hanging onto a rope while we climbed along numerous gradations of waterfall. Then, as evening approached I was reminded of the forlorn-looking coughing child sitting in back of us on the six-hour train ride from Hoi An to Dong Hoi one week prior, or the ideal amount of incubation time for COVID-19. I can now stop boasting about being COVID-free. Paul got Covid a second time. After close to a week, Paul and I are perhaps ready for gentle outdoor activities in our new location. From rock climbing to river gazing.

  • Tourists to Locals

    At the end of this post is another Paul's videos! Flashback to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City Part 2. Wednesday we took a side trip from Hoi An to Marble Mountain or you could call it Slippery Mountain because it's made of marble and limestone. We carefully climbed through the caves and up the mountain to encounter many sacred sites and sculptures created by Hindus and Buddhists. The five mountains were named after the five elements. It occurred to me that, before mass communication, people evolved separately all over the world believing in a creator. Thursday we went from swimming in the natural ocean to feeling like we were in a virtual reality. We walked across a footbridge to Hoi An Memories theme park where many people were trying to sell us things. As we approached a vendor or restaurant, sales voices automatically started up like we were in a video game. Mostly we just smiled and said sin chau (hello). The theme park culminated in a Hoi An Memories spectacular with 500 actors. Wherever we venture, Paul sets up an office because we are the digital nomads almost ready for retirement. Our An Bang Beach (Hoi An) Airbnb was a tiny yet charming room at The Happy Bird adorable rental community for travelers. As we waited for our six-hour train ride to Dong Hoi, we were entertained by Rowen Atkinson transporting a new living room chair to his apartment in the most convoluted way. The train itself was delayed about 90 minutes and at least four hours slower than a bullet train. 190 miles took six hours. It was somewhat clean, somewhat air conditioned with lots of mystery food that we dared not try. The view of the mountains, coast and rice paddies was memorable. Our Airbnb in Dong Hoi welcomed us with a dog barking outside in a cage, a smelly refrigerator, and a highly questionable water filter. I may have been having an American princess moment, but the sleeping quarters and bathroom also made me uncomfortable mostly because of mold. Paul and I have stayed in many Airbnbs in all different countries. Some have been more rustic than others from acceptably clean to immaculate. There was one unacceptable VRBO in NYC that was dirty, and extremely cluttered, with a host who did not respect our privacy. He somehow thought it was acceptable to use our toilet in the middle of the night as a convenience, even though his living quarters were separate. The Dong Hoi Airbnb triggered something that caused us to high-tail it over to the Melia Vinpearl 5-star resort (still only $50 per night). The spa was divine. We have a great view from our comfy, clean room on the 20th floor. Plus, we are in a charming and leafy part of the city with a beautiful walking park along the river. Dong Hoi has the least amount of motorbikes so far. As we pass by the shops, relaxed adults and children seem to enjoy saying hello to us foreigners, uncommon in this Vietnamese city. Wednesday we walked out to a peninsula with a big, picturesque and empty beach resort. We were informed while enjoying coconut juice and lemon ice, that tourist season begins in April. Paul wondered if 80 degrees was still too cold for a holiday in Vietnam. We're grateful it hasn't hit 90 degrees yet. Everything is relative. The day ended with banana flower salad and more This morning's trip to the laundry unintentionally included: Ellen's favorite, stumbling upon a rare health food market where we were able to purchase dry roasted nuts and sort of granola bars. Paul's favorite, an in-tune guitar hanging on the wall of our favorite breakfast place this week -- The Tree Hugger. In keeping with our quieter, mostly local folks, city adventure, we were the only two people walking through the impressive Ho Chi Minh Square, a tribute to the communist leader who grew up near here. Dong Hoi is the scenic capital of Quang Binh Province.

  • The Year of the Dragon

    Thank you for your blog comments. Please let me know if you are receiving my replies. This is the main weekend for celebrating Tet, the Lunar New Year. Tet is also a celebration of spring and is the biggest holiday of the year. Many businesses are closed, though a lot are still open in the tourist areas. People are with their families, frequently wear traditional clothes and spend time at holy sites. Tet 2024 is the year of the dragon. The dragon is an extraordinary creature that symbolizes strength, good fortune and prosperity. Perhaps this will be a year of feeling the power of our inner light and love. Paul and I went from Saigon's ungodly swarms of motorbikes to more manageable but still stressful numbers in Hoi An Central to relaxing An Bang beach just a few miles from central Hoi An. Rainbow Sweets was a restaurant in Marshfield, Vermont with a gregarious chef-owner. He treated us like personal guests and introduced everyone in the restaurant to each other. Rainbow Sweets was not a place to have a quiet private meal. Kids had fun there. I had not come across another restaurant like Rainbow Sweets until we discovered Beach Village Restaurant in An Bang Beach, Hoi An. Mr. Dong, the chef-owner and fun host greeted us and kept us engaged in lively conversation until we were talking with our neighbors. One man was there with his two young children enjoying the atmosphere and food. He and his family live in a different country every few years because he and his wife are embassy workers. Mr. Dong advised everyone to order grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf flavored with tamarind. Yum! He and his wife cook and serve traditional recipes taught to them by their Vietnamese and Indian families. The cozy restaurant is down a peaceful alleyway. Partway through the meal we noticed a cute dog at our feet. We also saw her on our beach walk the following morning. Tuesday we learned to cook fish wrapped in a banana leaf grilled over wood from a wonderful chef named Van. We are fortunate that she has a gift for sharing traditional Vietnamese cuisine through her cooking class. She took us to an engaging open-air market where we learned how to expertly choose ingredients. Each of the eleven students then joyfully experienced preparing a dish with Van's guidance. Van is a warm delightful person with a great sense of humor. Everything we cooked was adaptable to different diet preferences. Van would seamlessly include various meat or non-meat proteins. 11:11: Eleven reasonably fit people lost control and ate eleven dishes of food because this was the most delicious food in a country where we thought we already had already eaten the best food ever. For my vegetarian curry dish, I got to make fresh coconut milk which added so much. Help, I may never be able to go back to using coconut milk from a can. I look forward to sharing my new recipes with all of you. CLICK THE ARROW TO PLAY THE SLIDE SHOW OF OUR FABULOUS COOKING CLASS My next blog post will begin with our afternoon at Marble Mountain where the mountains themselves are made of limestone, marble and sacred sites. Stay tuned. Enjoy Paul's video of fascinating Hoi An!

  • Paul's Awesome Vietnam Videos

    This page will be updated periodically with Paul's Vietnam videos. Hoi An Ancient Town Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Part 2 Landing in Vietnam and Saigon Part 1 Mekong Delta Tour

  • Hoi An Ancient Town

    Saigon is a towering metropolis (9 million) with more opulent hotels than I have ever seen contrasted with minimalist street life. Hoi An Ancient Town (150 thousand) is a different experience. Motorbikes are popular here too, but the number makes them less scary. On our first morning at our Hoi An guest house / Airbnb / homestay Paul happily found a guitar. Our Airbnb hosts are friendly and fed us a delicious breakfast of vegetable fried rice and egg. Noodle soup seems to be the most common Vietnamese breakfast which Paul had the next morning. The night before our first morning in Hoi An we noticed that we were laying down to sleep on thinly covered box springs. Paul searched around the rooming house and found some chair cushions for us to sleep. The next day the host, who may have been distracted by extended family visiting, apologized and put a mattress on our bed. It's still a bit too firm but we were able to sleep on it. Maybe it's good for our backs. We also had a massage, oddly authentic yummy Mexican food, and experienced lots of sightseeing. Hoi An is well-known for fabric, tailoring, and clothes. Just when we were feeling over-touristy and indulgent because of the high value of USD, we walked out of the city and in minutes were in rice paddies with really cute water buffalo. The baby water buffalo seemed to like us. The mama, who may be been protective, was safely tied but also did not seem agitated. Click to expand photos. When we first arrived in Hoi An, a world heritage site, I fell into the trap of looking through brochures offering tours and even made a list of all the possibilities. However, I appreciate how Paul is good at balancing tourism with an independent exploratory spirit. Soon I would like to buy a ticket to go inside the interesting ancient temple we keep walking by, but yesterday afternoon we decided to instead go to the Reaching Out Teahouse. Everyone who works there is deaf or hearing impaired. Tables have a pad of paper, pencils, and little wooden blocks with phrases such as "I'm ready to order and thank you." The plant-filled vintage and relaxing ambiance contributes to the flavorful tea that is from small Vietnamese farms. Sound familiar? Vermont and Vietnam do begin with the same letter as in the Vvegan Vietnamese restaurant below. Fun fact: Because Buddhists do not eat meat on the 1st and 15th of every month, it is possible to find vegetarian options and vegetarian restaurants everywhere we have been so far. Buddhists comprise about 15% of the population. In keeping with Paul's exploratory spirit, we took a bike ride to see more of the rice paddies early Wednesday morning. We discovered water buffalo, eye catching lakes, and straw sculptures. You never know what you're going to stumble upon. Later Wednesday morning we went to the pottery village. Who knew we could see the Taj Mahal, the Colosseum, the Pyramids and so much more right here at the Pottery Village Museum. As a free bonus, I now have authentic terra cotta on my purse strap because trying my hands at the pottery wheel was a little messy. Of course, deeply flavorful (always loose-leaf) Vietnamese tea was served for our refreshment. Please click to see the full photo. Stay tuned for more about Hoi An including Tet, river lanterns, and the beach.

  • Ho Chi Minh City or Saigon

    Both names are seen frequently because some people prefer the older pre-communist name of Saigon. The first night we look a little bedraggled after traveling for 23 hours. Although I was nervous about connecting to our second flight in Korea, I was soon to discover that a woman was waiting for all of us who needed to make the seemingly impossible connections, timewise, from Seoul to Ho Chi Minh. She was our Pied Piper with her big sign and consistent cry of Ho Chi Minh. The airport signs told us to go one way for the gate and she took us a different way that seemed to be a shortcut to an easy security line then our gate lickety split. I was grateful for the speed walk after sitting for 16 hours. Our Airbnb host arranged for a driver to be waiting for us at the Airport. She then met us at the Airbnb in the middle of the night to make sure we were settled and comfortable. Does this somehow sound different than an Airbnb in the U.S.? A driver picked us up the next morning to be whisked off to a dentist appointment (saving me $4000 to replace a dental bridge in the U.S.), then dropped us off mysteriously at a jewelry store where we were met by a kind and cheerful young woman who led us to the third-floor dentist. I started to feel like I was in a James Bond movie (without the espionage) where everything operates mysteriously smoothly if I stay relaxed and alert. My bridge is perfect Thank you Dr. Thuy and everyone at The Rose Dental Clinic. It may seem like a lot to fly to the other side of the world for dental work but wait, it includes a seven-week workcation. The kitchen at our current Airbnb limits us to morning cereal and snacks. My stepdaughter gave us the excellent advice to soak the wonderful fruit here in water and iodine to kill all the bacteria foreign to our American tummies. We submitted to the idea of not cooking and eating out a couple of times per day. It costs less than buying groceries in the U.S. If we were brave enough to eat the omnipresent street food. it would be a lot less. Fabulous tea and delicious plant-based delights are plentiful. One night we treated ourselves to a very upscale fish restaurant (still only $50 for two) that was scrumptious with sixth sense service. How did the waiter know that if he advised me to order red snapper baked en papillote with vegetables I would be in heaven? Opportunities to resist fight or flight responses abound. Relaxing and trusting extend to crossing the street amidst swarms of motorbikes that do not stop for crosswalks. Traffic lights and sidewalks are somewhat safer but better stay alert. Incredulous, I watch a man maybe in his 70s cross slowly, with his two little dogs, amidst hundreds of motorbikes somehow going around him. He understands the beehive and doesn't flinch or do a little dance like I have done a few times. I keep picturing the large confident steps and arm movements demonstrated by a friend who is a seasoned street crosser during trips to Vietnam. Usually, Paul and I hold hands and plunge into the swarm together, however, one time I stood frozen without Paul on a very busy street full of nonstop buzzing motorbikes. A Vietnamese man, or perhaps an angel, kindly took my hand and guided me across the street then waved goodbye. Sunday we took a tour of the Mekong Delta and Buddhist Pagoda. Tuesday we took a very long walk, weaving through motorbikes in 90-degree heat so Paul could go to the street noted for 50 guitar stores. It's easy to duck out from the overstimulation of chaotically busy streets to quiet alleyways with residences, colorful markets full of yummy tropical fruits, fish, and non-western types of food. Cooking smells waft up from the streets lined with people sitting on very small plastic schools eating pho, banh mi, and bun cha. Wednesday we went to a history museum where I learned there are 52 ethnic groups in Vietnam. Then it was time for tea and Tet preparations viewing. Tet is the Lunar New Year celebrating the arrival of Spring. It begins on Feb. 10 this year and it's the biggest holiday. More on that later. Video: Landing in Vietnam and Colorful Saigon Part 1 Enjoy another video by Paul! Flashback to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City Part 2. Tea shops and guitar stores were wonderful sanctuaries in the pulsating city.

  • Meditation Plus

    For this months Havurah meeting someone in our group beautifully led us in a deep centering meditation based on the 48 Mussar Middot (virtues based on Jewish ethics as I understand it) from the Mussar Center. Links to learn more are below. Because we were able to choose from the 48 Middot, we all had a customized mantra. For example, my experience was choosing to meditate on the virtue of courage or ometz lev. Aspects include strength, boldness, audacity, softness and sensitivity of heart. Before looking at the list of virtues or middot, individuals in our group looked through prayer books to choose a phrase. We meditated on the prayer phrase then the middot. My chosen phrase "holy shechinah" and middot word (courage) expressed strength and boldness with heart. The Mussar Center explains this type of meditation as a combination of inner work and character growth. After the Havurah members meditated together, we had a lively discussion while simultaneously learning the joy of peeling delicious clementines in a spiral. Good snacks are always included in our meetings. All Havurah meetings will begin with a meditation/chant/mindfulness practice. We will then focus on a theme. Upcoming meetings and events. All are welcome: Please register here if you are interested in attending any of the upcoming meetings. Most meetings and events are in the home of a Havurah member. February 14, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Havurah Meeting: Creativity and Spirituality. Please email Micah Bernat for questions and directions. New Havurah members please register through Ohavi Zedek Synagogue. March 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Havurah Meeting, Topic TBA April 17, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Havurah Meeting, Topic TBA April 26 Event: Shabbat dinner, 6 p.m. beginning with a Kabbalat Shabbat service led by Yitzi Gittelsohn. Hineni, Jewish Mindfulness Practice: This event will be at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue and will include guided chanting, meditation and text based discussion. How exciting to have events that enrich our home based Havurah experience with expanded connections and education. The first date will be in February and I will be in touch when the date is announced. This is a continuation of Hineni meetings beginning in 2023 that included a wonderful Hineni Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation Weekend. Links to learn more: The Mussar Center: If you could trade 5 or 10 minutes for a really good day, would you? That's Mussar! This ancient path is rooted in the Bible, works for everyone, and will make your day better and more beautiful. --from the Mussar Center website 48 Mussar Middot Or HaLev Jewish Spirituality & Meditation: Or HaLev is a Jewish Path to a more vibrant, whole and awakened life through mindfulness and innovative Jewish practice.

  • Jewish Spirituality Havurah Extra

    Shabbat and the second night of Hanukkah were joyfully celebrated as an addition to our regular Havurah meetings that will be on the third Wednesday of every month. Seven of us lit candles, said the blessings, sang songs, ate a scrumptious cooperative meal then played Rummy Cue. Non-Havurah members are always welcome to special events. A spouse and two friends attended this one. Also, our Havurah is still open to new members! I hope to see you at our next meetings Wednesday, Dec. 20 and Wednesday January 17, 7-8:30 p.m. on both days. New members please register here.

  • A Spirit of "Yes!"

    One of our group members began the Havurah meeting with a chant. The melody is composed by Rabbi Shefa Gold. The chant is from Psalm 51:12: During our discussion following chanting and meditation, we spoke about how the experience of meditating together as a group is different than meditating alone. We wondered if we should begin every Jewish Spirituality Havurah meeting with chanting and meditation to create the feeling of being present. We are still welcoming new members to our Jewish Spirituality Havurah! We will meet on the third Wednesday of each month. Our next meeting will be Wed., Dec. 20 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. If you are saying Kaddish or would like to attend the Ohavi Zedek online minyan at 7:00 p.m. you can! Just come to the Havurah meeting at 7:00 p.m., go to the Ohavi Zedek online minyan on your phone (lasts 20-30 min.), then join our Havurah meeting a little late. In addition to our next meeting on Wed., Dec. 20, there will be a Shabbat dinner hosted by one of our Havurah members. The Shabbat dinner will be on the second night of Hanukkah, Dec. 8. Meditation events that may be of interest: Hineni Jewish Mindfulness and Meditation Weekend, Dec. 1-Dec. at Ohavi Zedek Synagogue. 2023 Adamah Meditation Retreat, Dec. 24-29, at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center, Falls Village, CT

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