You know what's cool about about Israel that I don't write about often enough? Prayer.
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, kindly overlook the fact that I haven't blogged here in over a year.)
Because I really want to talk about prayer for a second.
Prayer so cheap you take it for granted.
Specifically, books of Tehillim (Psalms). Here in our local "stock" shop (Max Stock Kiryat Chaim), they sell bulk packages of keychain sifrei Tehillim, 7 for ₪10. If you're in the U.S., that's less than $3.
How awesome is this?
Bonus - they work as keychains, too.
They give these things out at every possible opportunity. Kids' birthday parties, prizes at school, anytime they need a kitschy thing to give children.
Now, okay. I know. Whatever you’re about to tell me, I already know.
These are kind of the worst of every possible world: not great keychains, lousy books of Tehillim, because they're too small to see. And unlike most keychains, they must be disposed of with proper sanctity and respect for their holiness.
But, hey, what can you do? I'm charmed nonetheless.
I don't know if the quality matters much. Because what matters is the message this sends to kids: "Here's something sweet and shiny and precious. It's like a candy, but you can't eat it. It's like a sefer Torah, only for your Barbie dolls. Your American Girl doll can slip it into her pocket, or you can, just in case."
Does it cheapen the holy words inside the book if you can buy seven of them for $3?
I don't think so.
I think what it says is that everybody should have one of these somewhere. (We probably have a dozen in various corners of our house.)
Small books, small prayers, for small children (and Barbies).
And G-d willing, bigger books, bigger prayers, as our children grow and grow here in this Holy Land.
We are well, just often too busy to blog. Please feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.