Living the Dream
The anticipation for going on Taglit-Birthright Israel is unavoidable. Since I first heard about the trip when I was a young child in Hebrew School, I have been dreaming about experiencing the beauty of Israel's various landscapes and the connection many participants feel to their Jewish identity.
The first day lived up to all my expectations. Although we were all exhausted after a strenuous day of travel, we were able to adventure through a nature preserve and catch a glimpse of a beautiful waterfall. Along the way, we made numerous stops to help strengthen our understanding of Israeli culture. Unlike the United States, Israeli citizens hike often as a leisurely activity. We then were able to experience our first Israeli lunch. Looking around our group, it seemed like a plethora of people had either ordered shwarma or falafel, a classic meal.
Another highlight of our day was being able to travel to Golan Heights. This is an important area because it allows you to see the border between Israel and Syria.The conflicts that are currently occurring in the Middle East are complicated and often not addressed. Being able to talk about it with my peers was helpful and allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the struggles many Jewish and Israeli people face. Since Friday is shabbat we participated in a Shabbat service filled with exciting new songs and moments of reflection. The kibbutz that we had been staying at has a pub and we were able to go experience an authentic Israeli night out with the local Kibbutz members.
They definitely showed us a good time. Everyone is super excited and open for new adventures this trip.
Photo credit: @bradleydush (header), @bassmentrock