I visited a village in the West Bank last weekend. I was wasn’t able to video on Shabbat… so I got the beginning and the end of it. The fellow that invited me belongs to a group of Jews who follow the teachings of Rabbi Nachman – a very mystical sect of Judaism that looks for patterns and numbers in the Torah. They hold fervent messianic expectations and one of the highest mitzvots according to Rabi Nachman is to be happy.

3 soldiers from an intelligence unit joined us for Shabbos. Two of them were computer programmers and the third was a Druze. There could not have been a greater contrast between the ultra secular world view of the soldiers and the ultra-religious one of our host. This is a major division in Israeli society but then again, the soldiers still came to the house of an orthodox man for Shabbos.

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