We speak about Shabbat as “me-ein olam haba,” an echo of eternity. With the Kinneret directly to our north, we sang our hearts out, had a chance to rest, and processed a meaningful week together. Kibbutz Ohalo is located next to the famous Kinneret Cemetery, where many Zionist luminaries, including Rachel the Poetess and Naomi Shemer, are buried. We took a walk to the cemetery and sang Shemer’s iconic Yerushalayim Shel Zahav in front of Shemer’s grave, with the Kinneret in the background. On Shabbat morning we took the opportunity to process the week, with students responding to the prompts, “How have you grown in your relationship with Israel” and “What are you wrestling with.” The conversation stretched toward an hour, with students listening deeply to their peers and continuing to expound on their multi-faceted relationship with this state, people, and land.
On Saturday night, we took the energy of Shabbat into a raucous drum circle, complete with freestyle dancing, Shofar solos, and the joy of being together. Check out the videos for some highlights:
Dance Party 1
Dance Party 2
We will rock you
We are about to bring in Shabbat along the southern edge of the Kineret. We’re exited to spend time together in this stunning area of the country.
This morning we had the privilege to hear from former US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. Ambassador Shapiro began by speaking about the two-fold nature of Israeli society, one of incredible economic and social mobility while also being vulnerable to surrounding nations. Students asked fantastic questions about Ambassador Shapiro’s perspectives on President Obama and PM Netanyahu’s relationship, the Iran deal, and overall life as a religious Jew and a politician.
We are now heading to Shuk Hacarmel in Tel Aviv for some time before Shabbat.
We seek to provide several tastes of Israeli culture throughout the trip. Tonight our students headed to a concert of Evyatar Banai, part of the famous Banai family of musicians, Israel’s first family of rock.
Enjoy the following videos from tonight:
On Wednesday morning we headed to the Old City. Our trip is built on a foundation of providing new experiences for our students and we thus visited the Temple Mount and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in addition to having time to daven Shacharit at the Kotel. Here are Noah Magill’s reflections on the morning:
Sam has his hand at imitating Rabbi Silver and Ilan, our tour guide.