Day 11 - Tzfat

It was a pleasure to be able to sleep in until 8am today. Once awake and breakfast was done, we all took a 45 minute drive to Tzfat. We were all so excited from all the things we had heard about it and how it was one of the four most holy sites in Israel. However, we were just praying for it not to rain like it did yesterday. 

Arriving in Tzfat the weather was not so promising. When everyone got off the bus boys and girls split up each going their separate ways to different Mikvah's. As we began walking the rain joined us. Pouring down with many of us not with umbrellas or raincoats, going into these beautiful Mikvah's. Our tour guide in the Mikvah, Elisheva, walked us through the gorgeous place. Explaining the ins and the outs of how the Mikvah works, why women go to the Mikvah and what the Mikvah can do to a person. It was so interesting listening to Elisheva and how she explained her experiences and life stories with us. Elisheva walked us through the Mikvah process and showed us where the women get ready, undertaking preparation in order to purify oneself. 

The room that we saw was beautiful, with the tiles and walls appearing to be as elegant as a hotel, making the women feel comfortable. I was so amazed and happy when Elisheva took us to one of the rooms down the end of the hall, which was still a preparation room. However, this room was for people with disabilities that aren't actually able to clean themselves or do many things for themselves, and opened my eyes into the Mikvah process. This room also followed through to the actual Mikvah, with a miniature pool being located in the middle of the room. Elisheva then went on to talk about how women with disabilities were also able to have guidance from special equipment to bring them into the Mikvah. I learnt just how special the Mikvah really is and what it can do not only to yourself but also to your whole family. 

Next we headed back up for lunch, meeting back with the boys. The rain even worse than before, making everyone run for cover. All these different food stores were buzzing and packed with IST students either laughing or crying because of how wet they were. Many people carried on after lunch looking at the beautiful markets and shops Tzfat had, with gorgeous jewellery and Judaica filling up each store. 

After lunch we all went to this room where two guys played musical instruments and we sang to Israeli music, creating an amazing vibe and many people getting up to dance and join in. The dance instructors explained the historic dance moves, and everyone was enthusiastic during an enjoyable night.

Today was a day to remember, the talks, the laughing and the fun. So far IST has been amazing and I can't wait for the next few weeks to come.

Natasha Kessel

Day 12 - On the way to Tiberius

Day 10 - Jerusalem