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Powerful Lessons

Thanks to an early curfew in Eilat the night before, we all woke up at 5 am on Thursday morning to climb Har Tzefachot, our final hike. Climbing the mountain was worth it because of the gorgeous view and sunrise. We made it up just in time to see the sunrise over Jordan and daven.

The theme of the day was "Ani Veha'aretz" (Me and the Land), so the fact that we were on one mountain overlooking 4 different countries (Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt) made us appreciate the fact that we are lucky enough to have Israel as ours.

We made it back to the hotel to pack, eat a delicious breakfast, pack lunches, and get back on the busses to continue on in our journey. Our next stop was the Bar Kochva caves where we crawled in the dark caves with flashlights. Learning the history of the caves that were used during the destruction of the Second Holy Temple helped us once again appreciate that, despite the exile, we have Israel.

Later that night we arrived at Kibbutz Galon where we ate dinner, sang & danced at a special Chagiga and Kumsitz. We ended the day on a more serious note with a film of tribute to Michael Levin, an American IDF soldier who gave up his life for a country that we're all so proud of.

On Friday morning we took a trip to Kever Shmuel Hanavi and Mount Herzl where we focused on the theme "Ani Ve Klal Yisrael" (Me and the Jewish People). The day was short, but powerful, and packed with lessons. We visited the graves of different soldiers who lost their lives fighting for our country and nation, many of whom were our age.

In no time at all we found ourselves rushing back to the Kibbutz to get ready for Shabbat, making a short stop at a makolet to buy Shabbat snacks, of course. We got ready for Shabbat, took glamorous pictures, and headed into shul for a beautiful Carlebach Kabbalat Shabbat, which was followed by another delicious meal. After that, we had "circle time" with our groups where we played games, ate candy, and had an activity in which we in turn said nice things that we learned about each other over the trip.

Despite yet another late night, we all got up the next morning for Shacharit, a short Parasha shiur with Rav Eitan, and Kiddush. Before lunch, groups convened to discuss the theme of "Ani VeYahadut" (Me and Judaism). After eating, we finally got in a nice Shabbat nap before our last "circle time" where we summed up all our experiences, lessons, and highlights from the week.

We all truly felt inspired as we sang at Seudat Shlishit and participated in Evyatar's siyum in Masechet Pesachim. Unfortunately, Shabbat left us too soon. We heard Havdala, quickly packed our bags, and before we knew it we were on our way back to school.

After a jam packed week, we were thankful to sleep in on Sunday and resumed classes at 3 pm. We continued with a regular but great week of classes and fun activities (Zumba!) in the dorm.  

Our 'Lech Lecha' experience was amazing. We gained so much and it has no doubt had a profound impact on us all.


Shiran Arusi and Tzivya Beck, Shana Alef





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