December 20, 2013
After countless days of snowball fights, relaxing, movies and cabin fever, it was finally time to leave the hotel and head outside for the first time in 4 days! The roads were clear and we were all buzzing with excitement at the thought of leaving the hotel at last! We began our morning with an amazing walk, admiring the beauty of Ramat Rachel. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and the weather was purely magnificent. Everyone was smiling, and enjoying the fresh air. On the walk, we learnt about the history of Jerusalem from over 3000 years back. There truly wasn’t a better location to learn about this history than the lookout over beautiful, snowy Jerusalem.
Later that day, our Madrichim ran one of the funniest programs I’ve ever experienced. We were given several slips of paper containing scenarios that we needed to act out whilst incorporating different objects or in some cases, tourists from Kenya. After video- recording each of our different skits, we all waited in anticipation for the second part of the program.
After lunch, we visited the Mamilla Mall where we roamed through snow-coated streets, ate, drank aroma and shopped. Wandering through the snow and exploring the beautiful streets was the perfect remedy for our four day confinement in Ramat Rachel. Mamilla is a very artsy and beautiful outdoor mall which suited everyone’s needs, mainly because there was an Aroma cafe.
Our last stop of the day was the beautiful Kotel and it’s amazing tunnel tours. Seeing the Kotel covered with snow was breath-taking. Our tour focused on tracing back the footsteps of our Jewish life and history 2000 years back. We learnt that the Kotel today is only a small part of what it used to be before it was destroyed by the Romans. We learnt where the holiest of holies is located and where the Kohen Gadol would go inside of the Beit Hamikdash. It was amazing to walk through the narrow space during the tour and admire the historical stones that stood before our eyes.
After this amazing day, it has made me realize how lucky and fortunate we are to experience these life-changing moments on IST. Thinking that IST is ending in 2 weeks, makes me realise how much myself and the group together need to soak up every opportunity available.