On Friday, we hit the road early to head to the beautiful, mystical Tzfat. We started our day learning about the history of Tzfat as a holy city and then met with Kabbalah artist David Friedman. David taught us about Kabbalah art and led us through a short meditation, and we had the opportunity to ask questions and check out his work. Later, we had some time to shop for souvenirs before watching a glass blowing demonstration by local artist Sheva Chaya. She gave an interesting talk about art in Judaism while we watched her create a beautiful mezzuzah out of glass! We had a pizur lunch where many tried and enjoyed Yemenite food before we headed back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbat and escape the heat. Lots of pictures were taken and we had a camp style kabbalat shabbat service with a beautiful view on the kinneret in the background. A highlight of the night was a special (pre-recorded) appearance by Rabbi Isaac to tell a familiar shabbat story. We enjoyed shabbat dinner at the hotel and got really sweaty while having a blast doing rikkud dancing on the lawn of the kibbutz. We ended the night hanging out with each other and the other two groups of teens staying on the same kibbutz.

On Shabbat, it was 107 degrees! We had a super low-key day starting with a sleep in and then a Shabbat shacharit service with a few words of Torah. Camp-style services are always special, but it was extra special to be spending our first shabbat together in Israel. A favorite part of the service for everyone was singing Adon Olam to the tune we use at camp, originally started by a commuinty here in Israel. Everyone relaxed and napped in the afternoon, and we had a beautiful havdalah service after dinner with all of the camp traditions. We ended the night screaming and dancing to Medurah songs such as Lean on Me, “Spicy Roads” and the Giraffe Song.

Until tomorrow,

Havaya Israel 2023