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All Lit Up

In Israel, especially within the city of Jerusalem, the signs that the holiday of Chanukah is approaching are clear. Colorful lights are put up, huge Chanukiyot are placed strategically around the city, assuring that no one is left untouched by this 8 day holiday of lights. Chocolate coins (gelt) are past from hand to hand, and the surest way to tell that Chanukah is coming is the sudden availability of donuts. Yes, every type of donut and filling you can imagine is sold in the bakeries, at the shuk, and even given out for free by people who are truly touched and inspired by the holiday spirit and warmth which is truly palpable at this time. 

Our incredible madrichot, in preparation for Chanukah, planned a dorm activity for all 85 of us, Chanukiya making! When entering the room each girl was jittery with excitement for the approaching holiday. A couple hours later there were 85 beautiful, original pieces of art ready to have candles added and lit. 

Tuesday night was the very first night of Chanukah. We finished classes early and entered the beit midrash together. All the Chanukias were set up, side by side, in front of the floor length windows at the front of the school. All of us set up our individual candles (I the Chanukias we made) and all at once began singing the brachot upon lighting. The warmth and achdut in the room was incredible, again we felt as if we were truly one united family. After lightning we were treated to more sufganiot (donuts), thanks to our very own Bracha Krohn. 

On Thursday, after much hard work and planning, thanks to Aleeeza, Kira, Renee, and many other hard working individuals the Chanukah Chagiga was actualized. The Chanukah chagigah was an unbelievable experience our entire school got to share together. There was a ton of dancing and ruach. Everyone dressed up in costumes, which included: Greeks, snowmen, candles, and more. We had a delicious catered dinner followed by yummy homemade desserts and festive sufganiyot. We enjoyed a great dvar Torah from our friend Yehudis who inspired us to try and conquer the 'Greeks' or our times and spread light in our lives and the world. And of course we had an awesome DJ who played all our favorite songs and we spent the night dancing in pure simcha. The dancing intensified when we got the fantastic news that our beloved Madricha, Allie, got engaged!!! Mazal Tov Allie! After an eventful week, the adventures continued with our Tzfat shabbaton… 

After a 3 hour bus ride we arrived in Tzfat and we were given a yummy falafel lunch along with the day off. We had the choice of either touring Tzfat with a tour guide, or walking around and doing our own thing (many of us chose the art gallery!).  When Shabbat started, Rav Lerner gave us a tour of all the different types of shuls around our area and we were able to choose which one we wanted to daven in. Over Shabbat we had 2 amazing, inspiring, local speakers, along with 3 divrei torah from our own Midmo girls: Orley, Penina and Michal. Shabbat was followed by the usual; a beautiful kumzitz and an amazing Havdalah. This Shabbat was definitely one of a kind and one that none of us will ever forget!

Finally, on the last night if Chanukah, we were split up and set up at faculty for a delicious dinner at their homes. Every single girl who went had an incredible time and a meaningful experience filled with yum food and divrei Torah. We got a chance to get to know different members of our faculty and their families and we got to see them in a setting other than in school. Chanukah has truly been an enLIGHTening experience for all of us at Midreshet Moriah. 

Leora Eisenstat, Yaara Elimelech, Dena Edelman



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