Our Friday began on a heavy note as we visited Yad VaShem, the Israeli Holocaust Memorial. No matter how many times one hears the information contained in those walls in school, from family, or in other ways, nothing could prepare us for the emotional experience that this museum provides. The only words that can sum up the experience are “never again”. After a short processing period outside the museum, overlooking Jerusalem, we bussed over to Machane Yehuda for a lunch in the Shuk. The place was so crowded given that Shabbat was descending upon us soon, which also meant that we had to get back to the hotel to prepare for the weekend. Our Shabbat started at the Kotel with a camp service and a wonderful story from Rabbi Isaac, before going to the “Shabbat of a Lifetime”. Our group split up into four in order to visit four Jerusalem families for Shabbat dinner. We spent the night praying, singing, eating, and learning about others in the Jewish community while getting to know each of our hosts very different stories. A much needed rest began a little later than intended leading us into our Saturday!
Just like camp, we kept our Saturday simple and restful. Our late breakfast lead into a short service all together along with a quick program which challenged the teens to chose and explain some easy and more difficult opinions on varying topics. After an easy lunch at the hotel, a few of us went over to a local park while others chose to hang by the hotel pool and take in the beautiful Jerusalem weather. We eventually joined back together for shabbat dancing, a lot of singing, and a classic Havdallah service. Our night ended on Ben Yehuda street as we were given a couple hours to explore and get a late dinner. We are all looking forward to a hot and interesting week coming up in the desert.
Havaya Israel 2022