Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kotel Adventures- OII #2

So, I went to the Kotel yesterday- as written about in an earlier post.
I went there, because I haven't gone in a while- and I have wanted to go.
But also because I needed to get something done in the Old City.

I've had a bracelet, made of silver, and etched with the 7 gates of Yerushalayim on it, for about the last 5 years. I never take it off- wear it to shower, sleep, swim...

It kept me thinking about the Holy City while I was in America, and here it keeps me thinking about how lucky I am to be here! So many Tzaddikim (righteous people) (the Gra- the Vilna Gaon for example) never made it here- and here I am- how am I worthy?

But, to make a long story a bit shorter, after five years, I bent it a bit too far, and it started to crack, along the engraving. Needless to say, I was quite saddened.

So, I decided to go where I got it from and see if it could be fixed.
I headed off to the Old City after my visit to the Kotel, and headed to a small shop next to the Cardo. The more famous shop is Hadera? (sp.), which is where all the seminary girls go to get

their trinkets.
I headed to a small shop owned by two silversmiths, a father and daughter- with the last name Ben-Yekusiel. They use their small shop as a workshop as well, and create intricate designs, in the Yemenite fashion. I met the father a long time ago- and he told me that their family has been making these items for generations. He has a daughter, so he trained her in the art as well. Their work is truly exquisite- (of course with prices to match- but well worth it)- fitting for any Shabbos table, or just as a magnificent work of art and craftsmanship.

I bought my small bracelet from them, and the daughter engraved it for me with the 7 gates, and with the pasuk "Yerushalayim Harim Saviv Lah"- "Jerusalem, hills surround her...".
So, I headed back- and it's been a long time since I've been there.

I opened the door, and the daughter was there. I told her she probably wouldn't recognize me, but she said my face was familiar. I told her how I bought my bracelet 5 years ago, and now I'm married and living here in the Aretz. I asked her if she could fix it for me- and she said it would be her pleasure.

Watching a silversmith work is a fascinating thing. If you want just to see it- head to their shop- it's amazing. She fixed the crack, re-etched the line, and buffed it to maintain the silver. Unfortunately, the patina of older silver that had happened to the bracelet, after 5 years of wearing- disappeared- but now I have it for another 5 years.

She took the time to do this in the middle of her work day, and took care in her work.
When she finished- with a bracelet as good as new- I asked her if I could pay for her work.
She refused payment. She said it was her pleasure, and she loves seeing her own work again- cherished and used. I was shocked- as she did spend time on it, and effort. She refused again, and said, if I'd like, I could donate the money I would have paid her to tzedaka.

Wow- so special. She fixes something for me that many others would say- too bad, you bought it, you used it for 5 years, now it's your problem. Then, she refuses payment. And, to top it all off- she then asks me to give the money I would have given her to tzedaka.

Only In Israel.

Stop by her shop if you're ever in the Old City. I can't say you'll be able to afford anything there- but watching her and her father at work is a wonderful experience. And you could tell her I sent you :)


corner point said...

Beautiful story. :-)

I think that store is called Hadaya. Had to check the inside of my ring to see what he engraved and that's what I deciphered :-D

I have the pasuk "Hashem li v'lo ira" enscribed on a ring. I've been wearing it nearly every day for about six years. I would be very sad if I'd lose it or if it would break--it's become a sort of mascot for me, an amulet, a hopeful reminder, a part of me in a way.

Glad your bracelet was fixed so beautifully. May you wear it for many more years in good health and happiness!

nmf #7 said...

Corner Point- AMEN! And, so should you enjoy your ring in good health!

I actually had a ring from the same silversmith- Ben Yekusiel- engraved with "Ashira L'Hashem B'Chayai". However- I lost it one day- it slipped off my finger.

When I went back to the silversmith, and asked him to make my bracelet- he said to me that the ring, and the pasuk attached, must have served its purpose- and now it's time to choose something new. As if the pasuk's meaning had affected my life in a way, and now was no longer needed. That was when I had my bracelet made.

Interesting no? That a piece of jewelry with a pasuk could have served its purpose already, and thus it was time to choose a new one!

Bas~Melech said...

I've always wanted to get one of those, but I could never choose which pasuk and design I wanted...

tembow said...

that is so interesting. i never thought that was even possible but it sounds like it could be.

nmf #7 said...

Thanks for commenting!
What didn't you think was possible? Fixing a bracelet, losing a ring...?