After breakfast, we set out for Tzfat, one of the four holy cities of Judaism, where we spent the morning immersing ourselves in Judaic art, history and Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). Some of us spent our time "haggling" (or as some members of our group incorrectly said, "heckling") vendors in the shuk. We ate a Yemenite delicacy called lachaouch (a savory veggie and cheese pancake wrap). In classic Israeli style, all of us were charged different prices for identical products.
We moved on to Givat Haviva, a community built on the coexistence of Israelis and Arabs. We were given a historical overview of the inception of the Israeli state, the path towards its independence, and the subsequent aftermath. The conversation allowed for a better understanding of the foundations of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and more specifically enabled a deeper understanding of the east and west villages of Barta. Many of us were unaware that the green line and the fence were two distinct boundaries. On a beautiful sunset overlook, we saw the village of east Barta trapped between the two boundaries and devoid of its own country.
A million bathroom stops later and we are now on our way to Jerusalem, looking forward to what lies ahead on our Israel journey.
Written by "The Griffinpuffs" a.k.a. (L-R in photo) Laurina Bird (UNC Chapel Hill), Michael Valenstein (UNC Charlotte), Hannah Factor (UNC Chapel Hill), Parker Musler (UNC Wilmington), and Isaac Kaplan (NC State).
Birthright Israel blog posts are written by individual students and may not represent the opinion or position of North Carolina Hillel.