We woke up groggily to a beautiful Jerusalem morning; and were greeted with another amazing Israeli breakfast. After we finished our meal, we boarded the No’ar Hadash bus and drove towards Marichia. After an enlightening playlist of Beyonce classics and many “Boker tovs” we arrived at an archaeological site and got off of our longest bus ride yet (45 minutes). Following a short bathroom break, Missy, our site leader, led us to the entrance of a 2,200 year old cave used by people in the time of the Maccabees. Upon descending down the deep cave, we began putting our digging skills to work and awakened our inner archaeologist in order to aid in the search for the omnipresent “trash” of the inhabitants of that ancient time. Our determination and enthusiasm paid off as we found many ancient and unique treasures which had been untouched for thousands of years. The yield of our digging led to over 200 buckets of dirt, and we made a chain of hands to hoist our finds out of the cave. Following the extraction of the buckets the campers sifted each bucket to make sure we did not miss anything. Coincidentally, we found the most impressive treasure by doing this, which included part of a necklace and a ancient candle. To finish off our archaeological experience we went spelunking in nearby cave, which helped many of us getting over our fear of small spaces.
Back in Jerusalem, we had lunch in the rambunctious Machaneh Yehuda shuk (market) and then got ready for Shabbat. We sang, lit candles, and danced to our favorite camp songs at an overlook of the Old City and the Wailing Wall. Added significance came from the fact that we could now see the site we always imagine from home: the Wailing Wall. Shabbat was truly a day of rest, but we also joined a Reconstructionist minyan including former camp staff! Havdalah and an evening out on the bustling commercial Ben Yehuda Street was truly fantastic. Tomorrow we leave Jerusalem and head south for the desert. We will miss the holy and happening city of Jerusalem.