Editor's note: Students are split into smaller "families" for some activities. Each family will be sending us a blog update every few days.
We started out the day by visiting the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall. Many people found the Wall to be an emotional experience, crying with joy when they witnessed and touched it. We found it interesting that there is controversy over the Orthodox Jews controlling access to the Wall.
Going to the Western Wall was an unforgettable experience, but the true surprise came from immersing ourselves in the Shuk (Jerusalem's open-air market).
Walking amongst the people of Israel, we took in the sights and sounds of fresh food and drink. It was a sensory overload to stroll through the market, but very exciting at the same time.
Soon, we found ourselves reflecting on what it means to feel a Jewish identity. It was eye-opening to compare notes on Jewish identity with people who have diverse upbringings and beliefs.
In conclusion, many of our family felt that the day was the most meaningful so far, and went to sleep with a different appreciation of what it means to be a Jew.
- Saucey Boyz
Birthright Israel blog posts are written by individual students and may not represent the opinion or position of North Carolina Hillel.