ILSI - Nature Hike, BBQ, and more!
Posted on 07/13/2014 @ 05:46 PM
We started our magical shabbat by exploring the spiritual, artistic, and religious city of Tsfat.
We began our day by "getting lost" in the winding streets of the city; exploring the markets and engaging with the locals. This activity allowed us to view the city in its foundations and experience its unique culture.
Later we all were given the opportunity to shop thoroughout the marketplace and courouse the beautiful jewelry and art, in famous of Tsfat. We also were allowed the opportunity to meet with the eccentric kabbalistic artist, Avraham, who expresses the mystical ideals of Kabbalah through his beautiful artwork. (Don't be surprised if your child returns home with one of a kind art or jewelry). Once we returned to the hotel, we got ready for seperate shabbat services. The boys traveled to a chabad synagogue in town and the girls participated in a moving teen-led service.
On Saturday we relaxed most of the day and had an amazing time on a boat party on the Kinneret after a lively havdalah service.
Today, Sunday, we started off our day on a beautiful nature hike, went fruit picking, took a venture to the top of a mountian which made us feel like we were above the clouds, and finished the day with a delicious barbeque.
Next week we plan on continuing our support for Israel by creating packages for our IDF soldiers protecting us and Israel on a daily basis. We are safe and happy and above all else proud to be in our homeland.
Hear what our teens have to say about their experience on ILSI: "The service we (the guys) attended was unlike any other. As I was jumping in a circle with what felt like my brothers, I realized by the expression on the men of the synogoue how much their religon meant to them. It really made me want to be more jewish in a sense." -Seth Laurie
"Being in Tsfat is such an amazing experience in that one can really connect to the beautifully mystical kabbalistic aspect of the Jewish religion. The combinaion of orthodox relgion, jewish mysticism, beautiful artwork, and scenery makes Tsfat one of the most inspiring and breathtaking cities in all of Israel." -Abby Seidel
"With the ongoing operation going on in Gaza, we've been in the northern area of Israel. Within our classes, we've kept up with the news and conflict. We hear about it, but personaly I don't feel a need to stress about our safety. Today we picked fruit less then a quarter of a mile from the Syrian border- something i'd never imagine about after hearing american news. The conflicts in Gaza are not getting in the way of us having a great time in Israel." -Samantha Harris
"Today started off early with a 7:15 wakeup and a short breakfast before an hour bus ride to a beautiful nature reserve in the Golan Heights. We spent the next few hours hiking various trails throughout the reserve and exploring waterfalls and ruins. It was hot outside but the trees and even a few clouds helped it be more bearable. Hannah Katz, from NTO, liked learning about the the ancient ruins we encountered along the path. 'It was cool to see how advanced the Romans were in building aqua ducts and flour mills.' After the hike, we went to a small mall for lunch and even got to do a little grocery shopping (by this point were all running low on our snack supply). The afternoon was very eventful. We drove even farther north and visited a fruit farm and spent time picking papples (a cross between a pear and an apple), plums, and berries. All of the fruit was delicious and most people probably ate more than they picked! Then we drove to Mt. Bental, and former military post that was occupied by the Syrians until 1967 when it was recaptured by Israel during the Six Day War. It was interesting to learn about the history behind the location and the current relationship Israel has with Syria. Even though we were less than a mile from the border, we all felt completely safe and secure. Dinner was a new experience for a lot of people. We drove about an hour to a forest and had a cookout. The night was capped off by meeting with our mishpachot and discussing how technology has impacted our lives growing up. We are all very excited (and a little sad) to start our last week of the trip and looking forward to what the next few days will bring." - Melissa Kurtzman