Day 18 - Yeshiva, Gush Etzion, Bakery and Paintball (Netzach)
Today we woke up in the old city of Jerusalem. We had an early wake up in the new hotel - the Crown Plaza but tiredness could not hide our excitement of the big day ahead of us.
Our first stop after breakfast and morning prayers was a yeshiva in Jerusalem called Eretz Hatzvi. We met with students and Rabbis that learn and teach at the Yeshiva. They were so full of enthusiasm about the Talmud and learning. They spoke to us about the importance of the Torah and gave us an insight into what it is like to learn in the Yeshiva. We had a quick shiur which was very insightful.
We learnt about the importance of the Shema and the reasoning behind when and how many times a day we must say it. After that we were taught by the Rabbi of the yeshiva himself about the first word in the Talmud. "Maimati" which meant from when. The Rabbi then explained to us why the Talmud would begin with a question - from when? Without giving us an answer. It was very interesting.
We then moved onto lunch in a playground where students enjoyed a choice between either chicken schnitzel sandwiches or hotdogs.
After lunch we headed to a bakery. We were talked to by the head baker about how he uses recipes and dough that was used in the ancient times since it's healthier then the commercial bread made by other bakery's. We were also talked to about chametz and it's relevance to pesach. After the talks we then were given the opportunity to make our very own pretzels. We were given examples in the different ways that a pretzel is made and then gave our own effort as we took the dough and created cinnamon flavoured delicious snacks.
After the quick snack that was the pretzels, we went to a place called the warm corner - lpina hachama. This was an area honoured to those that have fought for the country. Any soldier that has served is welcomed here and can receive shelter, a snack, or food as a thank you from the people the soldiers are protecting with their lives.
The last activity before the sun set for the day was paintball. We remained in the West Bank when we visited an army training campus called Calibre 3, where we were taught about the dangers of war and how to shoot a paintball gun. Everyone was either very excited or scared for what was to come.
After a lot of blood, sweat, tears, paint and fun we headed back to the hotel with our battle scars where we enjoyed a peaceful 45 minute free time.
To end off the day we met with a successful entrepreneur who gave us the most incredible speech about start up technology companies in Israel and how incredible some of their advancements in technology are. This was the perfect way to end of an incredible busy day just before we go off to our free weekend.