Katz posts about his actvities during offensive

Courtesy Rabbi Neal Katz (right) spends time with Professor Yehuda Bar Shalom, vice president of the David Yellin Academic College of Education, in Jerusalem, Wednesday as the Israeli military pummels Palestinian targets across the Gaza Strip.

 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.


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