We were, according to one of the 'youngun's, a 'hamoula' or Bedouin clan. Reps from four families, in-laws as well, it was an impressive grouping.
'The Bedouins live in tribes, Qabila in Arabic, who are subdivided in half-tribes and further down till the economical viable unit of an extended family, called Hamoula. Although it does not seem so to many, in order to survive in this unforgiving environment, a lot of work needs to be done.'
Sister Sarah and co, minus Benjy who's in the US, brother Jon and co, minus Adam in the army but plus Itzik, Dena's fiance, sister Jess and co, parents (my father's 80th was Friday so the time together was to continue his birthday celebrations), Daniel's mother Rita, sister Miriam and co, minus one of their kids, and us, minus Natan (enjoying cheesecake chez Charlie and Jo in Merrick). 25 of us for the duration.
I was reminded of a favorite book by Cynthia Rylant, 'The Relatives Came.' The book tells of the visit of the relatives - they come in their old station wagon, visit for weeks, hug, talk and eat. The best part is the arrival with the hugging that went on for hours and the sleeping the first night - wherever you could find a spot and that there was a lot of breathing in the house that was unfamiliar. I read it to Akiva tonight when we got home and I think he enjoyed looking at the pics and thinking about all those relatives at Ketura the past few days.
Today, on the way home, went with Sarah and Michael and kids along with Talia (J&B's youngest) and Adin Ner-David (Jacob and Haviva were also at Ketura for Shavuot) to Ein Bokek for a dip in the Dead Sea. It's such a wild place. Akiva was not too keen on the salt in his eyes but got in willingly at first. We bobbed around and compared areas of stinging pain and the weird sensation of the almost oily feeling water. Drove a bit further and took another dip and a walk in Ein Fescha - fresh water pools, oasis, huge cattails. It was hot but fun. A good day with Akiva as it included walking with the focus on water to keep him going.
Got home. A bit salty, a bit grubby, a bit tired but pleased with our journey.