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Henna, Hiking and Life Lessons

On Wednesday night, we had an exciting activity! We learned about the Yemenite culture with a Yemenite woman named Yehudit. She danced and sang for us and we had a mock Yemenite wedding which involved many interesting traditions. Later that evening, we all got hennas and she explained the meaning behind them. It was a great experience and we learned a lot about different types of Jewish customs.

Thursday morning we woke up early and boarded the buses to head out to our hike in נחל פרט led by our tour guide, Eitan. It was about a 20 minute drive and the hike lasted for about four hours. We hiked through water and saw some beautiful views all around us. After we finished a hike, we went to מצפה יריחו for a barbecue lunch. We had chicken, burgers, and salad – what a treat! Brian, our other tour guide, explained the history of this place us and then we headed back to school. It was a gorgeous hike and we had a great time.

That night was a shocking and painful night for us all. We were informed of the tragic murder of Ezra Schwartz z"l, an 18 year old student studying at Yeshivat Ashreinu for his gap year, just like us. That night, Vicky Berglas spoke to us about how to cope with this tragic event followed by a school-wide tehillim.

In this week’s parsha, וישלח, we learn a powerful and encouraging life lesson. It begins with יעקב fighting with the angel. יעקב emerged victorious but was left scarred from the injuries. After they fought, יעקב asked he angel for a bracha. יעקב teaches us a very important lesson which correlates to what we are all going through right now after the multiple terrorist attacks these past months. We feel pain and suffering, especially after the murder of Ezra which hit so close to home. But we learn from יעקב to keep fighting. Just like יעקב asked for a Bracha after his fight, we should try to find something positive to take away from these horrible occurrences and grow from them. After all the recent attacks, we also realize that we should not be taking things for granted. Rather, we should be taking advantage of the time we have here and the good things we have in our lives.

Tonight we will be celebrating Thanksgiving here in the Midrasha – a perfect opportunity to express our hakarat hatov for all the blessings we enjoy. Hopefully, in these coming weeks, we will hear only good news and be able to continue to grow in a positive way.

Shabbat Shalom.

Dassy Domnitch and Dani Ditchek



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