Dear Devoted Readers,
Wow. What a trip it has been so far! After spending three great nights on Kibbutz Afik, we went south to Tel Aviv and had lunch at Rabin Square where we ate some kubah, a delicious Iraqi soup. With full bellies we learned about the peace process and Yitzhak Rabin. Through speaking with local Israelis on the street, we really came to know how politics affect the everyday lives of people here. We walked down Rothschild Street, witnessing firsthand Israel’s social and economic demonstration and then we cooled off with slushies and lemonade. Following that, our tour guide at Independence Hall entertained and educated us about Tel Aviv’s humble beginnings as a mound of sand. After a day of history lessons, we were ready for a night out in Tel Aviv; it was great to unwind with our Israeli friends in downtown Tel Aviv!
Sleepwalking out of bed with smiles from the night before, we began our day by driving to Jerusalem where we were all struck with the beauty and immensity that lay ahead of us. We spent the next few hours exploring the Old City inching our way closer to the Western Wall. Once there, we each had a very personal reaction to being so close to this historical monument that we’ve all heard and been taught so much about. For many of us, it truly hit that we were really here. We are beginning to feel that intangible feeling that all those who’ve been to Israel express. Next, we went to Machne Yehuda, Jerusalem’s largest market. We knocked elbows with locals buying supplies for Shabbat. Smells of spices filled the air as merchants called out to potential clients. We, too, left the market to prepare for Shabbat. Many of us went to Shabbat services which was a unique experience. We will all relish these incredible experiences connecting to our Jewish faith and identity.
Shabbat Shalom - more from bus 144 on Sunday!