Getting Down & Dirty in the Golan Heights (North)
By Ashley Hoyle (Philadelphia, PA)
On Friday evening, Shorashim began our 10 day trip in Israel on Kibbutz Degania with a Kabbalat Shabbat ceremony where we got a chance to get to know each other better and discuss our own connection with Shabbat and practices at home as well as what Shabbat means in Israel. During the next morning/afternoon, we got to experience first hand the calmness and tranquility of an Israeli Shabbat by relaxing around the Kibbutz and being mindful of the holiness of this holiday.
We then took a short walk to a nearby town after a lovely Havdalah service on the Kibbutz. We had our first experience ordering and eating Israeli cuisine - shawarma and falafel!!!
We were up bright and early on Sunday morning to get a jump start on an full day in the beautiful outdoors in the Israeli north. We traveled to the Golan Heights, where we took the three hour Zavitan hike. The group swam in a shimmering natural pool, fed fish from bread in their mouths, and even got a little muddy. Then, the we were excited to grab some falafal and shawarma (...again...) after our exhausting morning and then were whisked off to the Jordan river, where we kayaked down and competition got steep.
Exhausted ,but very excited, we finally ended the day with another meal on the Kibbutz and an engaging discussion about Jewish identity. Then, it was long deserved showers and off to bed to get ready for another exciting day with Shorashim!