Day 33 by Melissa and Laurence Boss

 

December 23, 2013

 

December 23, 2013

We wake up on a lazy Friday in the Arad Youth Hostel. That time on IST when the air buzzes with talk of the coming Shabbos and a day gives relief to our typically frenzied schedule. Throughout IST, Friday’s have provided a relaxed timetable so the men and women have ample time to look their best to bring in the Shabbos. We partake in the usual Shacharit prayer service in which we have all been striving to expand our knowledge of davening matters. From here we are informed of the day’s plans in which we are to participate in a mitzvah while receiving a pretty incredible experience in return. Our destination was an Army base, isolated in the middle of nowhere, where Peleg our security guard served in his past.  

 

So we piled on the bus and took an hour long ride to a supermarket, at which almost all 88 IST students individually purchased a package of food ranging from chips to ‘Bamba Snacks’ eventfully amounting to a metric ton of edible goods. But this food was not for our own consumption but was to be given to the soldiers at the army as a token of appreciation for their sacrifice and service.  We arrived at the army base and were greeted with the sight of five monstrous, intimidating tanks. Before exiting the bus we were given a short explanation on the roles of the four tank positions. These are Driver, Loader, Gunner & Tank Commander and all play a vital role in the maintaining and function of the tank.

 

Exiting the bus we step onto a particular muddy stretch of ground that separated us from the base and the tanks, many shoes sunk and got ruined in this area.  In an awesome spectacle the unit drove on of the tanks towards us and we got a look at the spectacular beast. The tank stopped just short of us and the Israeli unit gave a short lecture on their roles and the specifications of the tank, these particular tanks costing 6.7 Mil a piece, a top speed of approximately 45Km/h and 3500 horsepower. Post the talk we were given permission to climb aboard the tank and view the extensive weaponry and take photos. When everyone had received a good look at the tanks we gave the soldiers the food we bought, practically stocking them up for a year.  This act made their week and it made ours, giving us something we can do to support the Israeli troops. 

 

Day 34 by Emma Sharp: Shabbos in Arad

Day 32 by Mia Kornfeld and Lexi Weinberger