Our first day of our Israel trip, we stumbled off our plane and into a coach bus headed straight towards Neot Kedumim, a biblical landscape full of ancient ruins and herds of sheep and goats.  We first were taken by a lively tour guide around the landscape to where farmers used to crush their grapes in preparation for wine.  The tour guide told us stories about the once abundant vineyards and legends about the grape crushing escapades of the Devil and Noah, all while standing on an original pit used to stomp grapes dating back thousands of years.   Next we learned about our Jewish ancestors as shepherds, connecting important Jewish figures like King David to the humble beginnings of a sheep and goat herder and how what seems to be such simple and unimportant tasks like herding actually is an amazing way to prepare one for leadership.  Our tour guide allowed us to try for ourselves, splitting our group of 24 into two groups and then giving us tasks like separating the sheep from the goats and moving the herd from one side of their rocky enclosure to the next one.  Whichever team completed their task quicker was the winner.  It has been decided that sheep give more attitude than goats.    After that, we were led  over to an ancient cistern.  We learned about the Israel’s water problem since so much if the year is in drought and how the cisterns were used to collect and store Israel’s drinking water for thousands of years.  Our tour guide took two volunteers who acted out a love scene from the bible that took place next to cistern, combining teachings from the bible with knowledge of the purpose and importance of cisterns in Israel.   We then said our goodbyes to the tour guide and took our trusty coach bus to Jerusalem.  We marveled at the landscape and entered the Jewish quarter to buy the lunch of our choosing.  After a quick lunch, we made our way to the City of David Water tunnels where we explored the underground water tunnels, flashlights and singing voices in hand.  We learned about how people lived and got water back when the first temple was still around and were delighted to be able to cool ourselves off in the cool water.  At the end of the actual water tunnels there is a tunnel that was once carried sewage during ancient times.  Whether or not the actual poop smell was decorative or not, we got the picture. As a closing activity before we left for our hotel, we visited the Haas Promenade.  The Haas Promenade is a beautiful spot that overlooks the entire Jerusalem skyline.  After a quick photo shoot with our gorgeous selves in front of the even more gorgeous skyline, we did a group dance led by one of our madrichim, the not choreographically-challenged Alan.   Finally, we ended our day with a good Israeli dinner and a brief orientation with our group tour guide Nimi before passing out.

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