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İnteresting how similar this day felt to Lag B'Omer -it was the holiday yesterday night of Hıdreles -when the two friends Hızır and Ilyas meet again, and are so happy that everyones wishes are fullfilled this night. Everyone writes and draws pictures of what they want and then either ties it around a rock and throws it into the sea or buries it under the roses in the garden (as our neighbors will do with our wishes). My friends neighbors had also built houses (complete with tiny gardens!) out of small stones to depict thier wishes -this struck me as a quite graphic remnant of the pre-Muslim Shamanistic Turkish culture. Turks originally come from far/middle Asia so they are quite different from their current Arab and Persian neighbors.

First we ate dinner, then we drew pictures and wrote a depiction of what we want to wish for on a piece of paper that had Arabic writting on it. Unfortunately my Arabic is so out of date that İ can no longer read any of it at all. Our wishes are meant to be read by Hızır after he meets his friend Ilyas -in any language we want to make the wish! :-) My friends neighbor took all of our wishes to bury under her roses. We went outside, gathering our female neighbors as we went (İ am told that it was pure coincidence and saw a man sitting down as we left the circle) outside. We built a small fire and made a wish as we jumped over the fire, then sat down to talk and be happy. İt felt a bit like Rosh HaShanah in that being happy was emphasized (someone was told not be be sad) almost as if this would set the tone for the rest of the year, or perhaps just make it easier to have your wishes fulfilled. We left and went back inside to drink some tea and go home. On the way my friends told me that the following morning (this morning) would be a very good time to pray for my wishes to come true -very early in the morning. İ did get up early this morning to pray briefly before going back to sleep!
Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
22 February, 12016 HE

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