Editor’s note: Rabbi Neal Katz is scheduled to return today from Israel, where he has been since June 17. The following is what he posted Wednesday on Facebook.
Another busy day.
After a great morning of studying modern Israeli poetry relating to themes of war and peace, I had a chance to meet up with one of my favorite people, Professor Yehuda Bar Shalom - who is vice president of the David Yellin Academic College of Education.
Yehuda's wife worked for a number of years at Greene Family Camp outside of Waco, where I am also on faculty each summer.
Yehuda used to come with her, and that is where we met. I also brought him to Tyler for a program, and he sometimes serves as a scholar in residence for Greene Family Camp retreats.
It was great to see Yehuda, and I wish him and his family mazel tov as his daughter is getting married this next week.
I spent some time this afternoon and evening on the phone with some news outlets in Tyler talking about the situation here.
Bottom line - it is pretty calm. No one is shaken up in the Jerusalem area - although we are praying for safety for those closer to Gaza who are receiving the bulk of the missiles.
They are still coming - but no one is getting hurt from those rockets since Israel has such an elaborate warning system.
Tonight at Hartman, we were scheduled to go as a group (150-plus people) to a community peace and prayer gathering in Jerusalem at the renovated train station market.
But, there were security concerns from the municipality that postponed the event - so instead we had a wonderful dinner on campus and followed that with an awesome song-session, which I shared with Yoshi Zweiback and others from the group.
I tagged myself in a video that someone took during one of the songs.
As I left Hartman looking for a cab - I was walking with Yoshi. He ran into a couple of his friends (the friend is an Israeli tour guide).
After introducing me, and seeing that we both had guitars, he insisted that we play a song.
So, Yoshi and I pulled out our guitars next to Caffit on busy Emek Refaim street and sang one of his songs.
Why not? It was awesome.
I finally caught my cab and thankfully had a late night visit with my old friend and colleague Rabbi Mitchell R. Delcau from Pennsylvania. He is here on a rabbinic mission trip for AIPAC.
So ends another long day. I finish up at Hartman tomorrow, and after some last-minute shopping, I will leave for the airport in the PM. I'll share one last post of the trip when I am in the airport. Then, I plan on sleeping the whole 12-hour flight.