Shalom from Jerusalem! We arrived safely this morning to Ben Gurion Airport. We met our tour guide, Noa, our Israeli counselor, Gaby, and our medic/guard Orian. We started the day at the nature preserve Neot Kedumim learning about the biblical connections to the land of Israel. We even got to try being shepherds and had to try to guide a couple dozen goats and sheep! We ate lunch there and then moved on to our next stop, an archaeological dig at Beit Guvrin. At this site they are looking for artifacts from approximately 2200 years ago, roughly corresponding to the time of the Hanukkah story. Our group found a variety of pottery pieces and even an oil lamp (a rare, valuable find for archaeologists!). We escaped the heat by exploring a fully excavated cave, basically people’s basements from two millennia ago. We then headed to our hotel in Jerusalem. We ate dinner here and after a quick orientation with our tour guide, it’s time to get some rest!

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