Sleep deprivation never felt so good | Shorashim - Israel with Israelis
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Sleep deprivation never felt so good

Carly Berke

We all know the familiar sound of an alarm buzzing awaking us from a few precious hours of sleep. We mumble a few things under our breath, usually profanities. We roll out of bed and force ourselves to throw on whatever we've set out to wear the night before or the first thing we see, whether it's dirty or not, no one will notice. We look ourselves in the mirror—we may or may not regret that. These every-morning rituals are things that everyone is familiar with, but what you may not know is that all of us on Shorashim sometimes does this at the tippity-top of the crack of dawn.

The night before we all shuddered as we set our alarms for 4:30, or earlier if someone decided to be an over achiever. We woke up to darkness to all pile on the bus to go to Masada, all wearing so many layers that we looked like overly tired marshmallows. It's safe to say that the climb to the top was breathtaking—literally. We hiked up over 700 stairs with not so much blood, but definitely sweat, and a few tears and prayers for my future sore muscles.

Needless to say, the loss of breath, the sweating, and each of every stair was worth it when I reached the top. How many people can say: "Yeah I kind of climbed 700 stairs on the edge of a cliff to see the sunrise. What did you do today?"

It was more than worth it. The mist and the dust hit the edge of the cliff and fogged over the morning sky so that all of Israel seemed eerie and ancient. The sun peeked from outside of the clouds beamed down onto the golden brown mountains, creating a perfect concoction of bliss and satisfaction.

As if we hadn't checked a bucket list item off already, after the hike down we all climbed back on the bus, wearing slightly less clothing and drove to the Dead Sea. Buzz and excitement flew through the locker rooms once we arrived. We all shivered as we changed into bikinis that were impossible to be seasonally appropriate. The mud packets that we had all bought were being squeezed into our hands only to be applied all over our arms, legs, and stomachs. My sister Hana, and Jillian, along with her sister Jessica all slowly, (like really really slowly - It'sDecember AND it was raining a little). made our way into the Dead Sea. The mud slowly rinsed off of our skin to reveal baby soft and rejuvenated skin. We all floated around for a few minutes, and then realized we could no longer feel our baby soft and rejuvenated skinecause our bodies were numb. It was time for clothes that would stick on our bodies thanks to the salt, and the next thing Shoshana, Dan,and Elaun has planned for us.

Thankfully, it was nap time. My assigned roommates and I did all the hotel room rituals: flopping down on the beds to claim them, opening and closing all the doors and drawers to see what was residing inside them, and taking all the complimentary items for ourselves. Dinner wasparticularly wonderful, but at this point I was just happy that I didn't have to eat another falafel. We then had our final group evening activity in the event room. Dan had decided that it would only be appropriate to do an Angel Walk justike we had on one of the first few days of the trip just to say someresiding thoughts and compliments we hadn't yet had a chance to say.

For some reason I was nervous. What could anyone possibly say to me?

 Much to my surprise, I received some of the following:

  • "Never stop singing"
  •  "I don't know what I would've done without you on this trip"
  •  "You make me smile everyday"
  • "I'm addicted to your facial expressions"
  •  "There's too much to say. I'm writing you a letter."
  •  "You seem like an amazing little sister"
  •  "I love you, baby sister"

 I've never been so happy to prove myself wrong.  That's the power of Birthright that you learn in only the last few days. Whether you believe something or not, you will gain an appreciation for it. Whether you want to participate or not, you will not regret jumping in with two feet. Whether you are feeling overtired, grumpy, or not, there is a residual feeling of gratitude and happiness.The second to last day on Birthright was a day full of opportunity, experience, and love. I wouldn't change it. I wouldn't have it any other way. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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