What a trip! After an emotional roller-coaster through the highs and lows of Jewish Europe, we allowed the group a chance to internalise the week through some down-time and fun activities including laser tag, gym, water-slides, James Bond, shopping and skiing. When we thought the trip couldn’t get any better, with immense anticipation, we announced to the students that they would be continuing to Israel. The elation was palpable as they exploded in song, dance and some tears of joy.
We were up at 5:30am to get ready for the journey and the whole plane was blown away from the applause and songs as we arrived. We met our incredible new madrichim Miriam and Shilo and went straight to a delicious dinner in the quaint city of Yoqneam. We had to end on a high so we carried on up north to Tiberius. Our first singing of Hatikvah was at the aiport in Australia, second was with an Israeli group in Auschwitz, and there we stood, 52 Moriah students, standing strong adjacent to the beautiful Kinneret, singing Hatikvah to complete the hattrick.
After briefly revisiting one of our saddest moments in the Tarnow forest in Poland, where children were yanked from their parent’s arms and thrown into a pit to be buried alive, we were proud to continue our discussion of the importance of Jewish continuity and announced, for the first time publicly, that Renana is pregnant. Without words, the familial nature of our unique group was underscored as we celebrated together and boarded a cruise on the kinneret. What a celebration!
We sung and danced the night away, had a drum café and ended with lights off, gazing at Israel’s exquisite north shimmering on the picturesque Kinneret and a mini-tisch, processing the magic of the moment. We entered the bus and a close friend of Rabbi Benji’s, Chief Commander Etzion Amrusi, arrived in full IDF uniform to thank us for journeying over and showing our solidarity for the State of Israel in this time of need.
Today we made our own delicious chocolates in De Kerina, adding taste to the captivated senses in this incredible country and then followed in the footsteps of the heroes of the Yom Kippur war like Eli Cohen and Avigdor Kahalani. We finished the day with specialized team building activities to solidify the bonds of the IST family and are ready to launch into a spiritual Shabbat in the mystical city of Tsfat…