Good Morning, Israel: Friday’s Parliament

Our Friday always starts off with good coffee and great conversation.

Our weekly gathering at Mahane Yehuda.
Anat Schneider

Good morning dear readers!

Friday is the one day of the week I use an alarm clock. Every other day I wake up naturally. It’s also the day I get up earliest, but not to go to work, school or complete a chore. 

For me, Friday is the prelude to the Shabbat.

How do I welcome in the weekly rest day? For years my husband and I leave the house at 7:00 a.m. for Mahane Yehuda in Jerusalem to meet up with our favorite friends at a café in the heart of the bustling open-air market. 

We call our gathering the “Friday Parliament”

We have to get there early. Even five minutes later and there’s no parking space or place to sit at the café. The market on Friday is crowded with people picking up last-minute groceries in preparation for Shabbat. 

Friday is the one day we’re all off work, so we can enjoy sitting together for a cup of coffee or tea, eat a good sandwich and discuss what’s happening in the world. Well, more like “fixing the world.”

Any topic is fair game at our “Parliament.” 

Politics? It’s impossible to have a discussion in Israel without it. A New World Order? Long ago we tackled that. We discuss culture, movies, plays, relationships in the family and places to travel. We debate the differences between people in our country and abroad, or global warming. Anything that touches our lives and stimulates meaningful conversations. 

Lot of fun, not much agreement

Then, the next Friday we start all over again. And don’t think that we ever come to much agreement. Some of us are right-wing, others left, and still others who hold rather extreme views. But the one thing we do have in common is a love of good conversation. And being together, especially after the long workweek.

From time to time, we meet to share a meal in one of our homes, but never at the expense of Friday’s Parliament. After a couple of hours, we are content from our fellowship and sharing and everyone turns to shopping before heading home.

I never want to miss these special times together. That’s why I’m ready to put up with the noisy alarm clock on Friday mornings.

On behalf of the entire Israel Today editorial staff, I wish you a Shabbat Shalom from Jerusalem!

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