Today, we seriously dug Israel. We unearthed pottery from the Judah Maccabi era and sifted rocks! We had a successful dig finding a perfume bottle, ancient glass (which is extremely rare), bones, metal from a tool, a tooth, and tons of pottery. We picked up up some extra shards of pottery to take home with us on our way out. Following our dig, we went spelunking (climbing) in a cave lit only by candlelight. We slid down dirt slides and crawled like crabs under layers of history. We changed into non-dirt covered clothes and headed to the Shuk for lunch and shopping. We checked off some “must try” items off of our Israeli food bingo board. We had the BEST Ramona tea and coffee, killer falafel, and out of this world rugelach from Marzipan Bakery. Of course, everyone also bought Israeli pants and haven’t stopped wearing them since. We returned to the hotel to get ready for our first Shabbat in Israel as a group. We walked to First Station where we joined hundreds of other people in welcoming in Shabbat with song and dance with a diverse community of Jerusalem locals. We headed back using the scenic route passing the first Jewish community outside the walls of the city where we stopped and took in the view. We joined together for Shabbat dinner and fully enjoyed the schnitzel bar. Later, we hung out under the stars meeting other Jewish teenagers from around the world.
We were very excited for the late start to our day allowing us to sleep in a little bit on Shabbat. Following breakfast, we headed to Independence Park where we led our own Shacharit service filled with singing and Torah study. We observed the quiet of the city and passed many other people on their way to celebrate Shabbat as well. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll back to the hotel where we joined together for Shabbat lunch. After a long menucha, we returned to Independence Park for some hofshi (free time) where we played soccer, volleyball, and snacked on the delicious fruits of Israel. After showering and some dinner, we headed outside for Havdallah and welcomed the new week as a family. Next stop was Ben Yehuda street where we witnessed all the shops opening after Shabbat. We bought gifts, had ice cream, and other Israeli foods. After enjoying the nightlife, we headed to bed looking forward to the adventures and the week to come.
For more photos of us and our adventures, follow us on Instagram by searching noarhadashisraelexperience