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Jerusalem!

Dec 23, 2017
Editor's note: Students are split into smaller "families" for some activities. Each family will be sending us a blog update every few days.

Birthright blog3 Dec17
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
 
Samuel Snider
Caitlyn Lipschitz
Sarah Miller
Alexandra Schneider
David Gallub
Shira Snyder
Max Crownover
 

Birthright Israel blog posts are written by individual students and may not represent the opinion or position of North Carolina Hillel.
Today was just another day...OF ADVENTURE! We started off by visiting an artist in Tzfat named David Friedman who sees the world through lens of Jewish spirituality and mysticism. We visited his studio, and his explanations of the paintings blew our minds and opened our hearts- we can't wait to share it with you. Next we toured around the cobblestone streets of Tzfat (also spelled Zafed or Tsfat...there is lots of dispute over the correct spelling) where we learned that all of the details of the city have Jewish meaning; for example, you can find blue everywhere that is said to ward off evil. We toured a historical Sephardic synagogue was old and quite small -definitely wouldn't fit the congregation back home! However, it was beautiful to see and everyone commented on its unique Torah arc and bima placed in the center of the room. Finally, we hopped onto the bus to some hot springs for a nice relaxing period overlooking the enchanting Sea of Galilee. It definitely soothed our tired feet! 
 
This evening we drove to Jerusalem through roads that intersected with the west bank; seeing the places we hear about on the news gave us a different perspective. Before reaching our destination we made a pit stop in the dessert. There were camels 🐫 at the gas station, which made us super excited to ride them in a couple days. After what seemed like we'd been wandering for 40 years (haha) we arrived in Jerusalem at our hotel!!! We can't wait to explore Jerusalem tomorrow and experience Shabbat here. 
 
The Zbergs

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