August 3 Day 3 | Shorashim - Israel with Israelis
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August 3 Day 3

By Adam Isaac Polinovskiy

The sunshine glistened upon lake Galilee as the morning began, foreshadowing the light that we would receive on our journey to come.

Mount Meron was our first destination, where the tomb of the great Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai rests. While hiking through the trail, we learned of wars from the past and gained perspective on the nature reservation that is the mountain itself. We saw and learned the story of the Strawberry Tree and viewed breathtaking scenery.

Our next destination was to the holy city of Tzfat. After munching on some Shawarma and Falafel, we headed to meet Avraham Loewenthal, a great Mystical Artist with Kabbalistic inspirations. Avraham bestowed light upon our group with a short story of his journey into the Kabbalah and his transfer to Tzfat. He shared beautiful pieces of art with us, each one depicting a deep spiritual concept that invigorated our group. I was personally brought to tears during several instances of his presentation as he spoke of Jewish identity and how our past couple of generations have been experiencing a disconnect from this identity, in his opinion. This is ultimately the most important sequence of information our group could absorb as our Jewish roots are withering away.

With a benevolent smile, Avraham inspired our group with information regarding our Hebrew names and its spiritual root to our soul. This incepted curiosity, and with quick vigor, our group asked many questions once the original presentation finished. With delight, our group purchased many of his pieces and were on our way to visit the sacred temples of Kabbalistic Rabbis of the likes of the Great Ari. Beautifully kept, and efficiently restored, these spots proved to be very powerful in providing perspective on the symbolic depth of such places. Afterwords, we viewed beautiful artist shops, and then made our way to our final destination of the day.

Our last stop was the Gadot Lookout. It was another spot with a breathtaking view and an amazing story of struggle and hardship from the wars of the past. It also serves as a memorial for those lost in combat and our group absolutely loved this stop. 

We finished our day with an activity that brought light to the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words, and each mind may interpret its meaning differently.

I very much enjoyed this day, and am looking forward to future discussions regarding conflict, progression, love and Jewish identity.

Photo Credit: @arielledoesthis

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