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Birthright Blog: visiting Tzfat and welcoming Shabbat

Dec 24, 2018

We woke up early Friday, feeling sleepy but very excited to take on the day and prepare for Shabbat. We spent the day in Tzfat, the center of Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism. The journey was an enlightening experience, shedding light on the rich history of this spiritual city above the clouds. We visited the 15th-century Abuhav Synagogue, then explored a variety of art and jewelry shops, including one with intricate handmade candles.

Emily W, Sam, Philip, Jacob and DianaAs the day progressed, our tour guide, Dima, built up anticipation for what he referred to as “The Caaaave” and a surprise he promised would come later. At the cave, we sat with Aviv, a mystical musician who emphasized the importance of communal connection through music. He taught us how to play many unique percussive instruments, including one that made a terrific goat noise.

After eating lunch and perusing the shops, we met a Kabbalistic artist named David Friedman. He showed us his mind-blowing work, which incorporates Hebrew letters and numbers to convey spiritual meaning. 

In the afternoon, we began heading back to Kibbutz Farod for Shabbat preparations. But first, it was time for the surprise! We visited a winery that produces all kinds of fruit liqueurs and wines, from mango to blackberry to chocolate. We tasted a few flavors (l’chaim!) then shopped a bit before returning to the kibbutz, where we had a lovely Shabbat dinner and services. We ended the night with what felt like 5,000 icebreaker activities as we got to know one another better.

Shabbat shalom,
Family 1: The Jewbies (Emily W., Sam, Philip, Jacob, Diana)

NC Hillel Birthright group W18



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210 West Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-4057

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