Day 34 by Emma Sharp: Shabbos in Arad


December 24, 2013



Finally it was Shabbas, the time of the week that everyone looks forward to. It is the time of the week where we finally get to chill, sleep in and relax, however this Shabbas was different. As soon as we got ready for Shabbas we were told to go get a name from Shira but no one knew why. The girls then went to light candles and we all headed off to Kabbalat Shabbat in the hostel. This is where all was revealed… Michi explained to us that we were playing the game “Bang Bang, you’re Dead”. The aim of the game was to isolate the person who Shira told us, then whisper "Bang, bang you're dead" to them but this had to be either in a room alone or more than 15 meters away from other people which became very hard once the game began.  Once you killed your target, you had to kill their target and so on until the game ends and there is one winner. This stirred up a lot of tension at the Shabbas dinner table, people were working out plans, teaming up and the Hunger Games had commenced.


After a very satisfying dinner, we were split up into buses to play a game called Parliament. Everyones adrenaline was rushing as the girls strived to beat the boys and the boys strived to beat the girls. Then it was time for the Tisch, our second last Tisch on IST. As we sung one song after the next, the room was quickly filled with a strong sense of cohesion. Once it was over, you would think that 89 sleep deprived children would rush to bed, but no. The “Bang Bang, you’re dead” game continued, one person, then another, then another, then another slowly got out of the game. 


The next morning, after a very well needed late wake up, we went to the Shule in the hostel. The service was followed by a Q&A session where we were able to ask Rabbi Benji any Jewish-related questions. It was amazing how Rabbi Benji was able to answer any question that was given to him and it was really great to hear the answers to such interesting questions. Following this, we made our way to lunch and like every other meal at this hostel we were served chicken schnitzel and potatoes.


Then we were split into family groups for a very interesting Chabura. We then had a lot of free time which was followed by Mincha and Seudah Schlishit. Sadly, these were the last few hours we were able to spend with Ms Mitchell on IST. We all gathered for a beautiful Havdalah and ended by farewelling Ms Mitchell. This was surely a sad moment for everyone as throughout the trip, she has always provided us with a shoulder to lie on when in need and personally, I could not think what IST would be like without her.


Once our bags were packed we headed off to a mall for dinner. Although, the mall was certainly not what we were expecting. Once we were done we had a 3 hour bus ride to Eilat. After about 2 hours we were all busting for the toilet and we were told we were going to stop at a gas station. We finally arrived at the gas station, everyone sprinted off the bus and the toilets are locked. Everyone then made a brave decision to use our Duke of Ed skills and go in the bush. After another half an hour of driving we finally arrived in Eilat. 


Everyone rushed into the hotel lobby and straight to bed. Tossing and turning in anticipation of what tomorrow may bring. 


Day 35 by Kayla Diamond

Day 33 by Melissa and Laurence Boss