Day 12 - Ethiopian Village and Shabbat
We woke up at 6.30 to find out that most of the day's plans had been reshuffled because of the weather.
We discovered that it was to be a relaxed day, nothing too intense. Breakfast and prayers went by and we hopped on the bus and went bowling. Tenpin bowling, that is. I must admit, I saw plenty of 0s. Without the bumpers it's hard sometimes. Each person had their own tactic. Rabbi Benji used power, Adam Marks used accuracy and Adam Cohen just dropped the ball and would see how many pins it hit. Adam Marks notched up the highest score of the day with a 148. We then received some great news!! That we could go shopping for snacks for shabbat in a real supermarket. The most common items bought would have to be chocolate or Bissli. This was all quick and easy as we then drove to an Ethiopian Israeli's house to learn about her history. We began with some dancing, traditional Ethiopian style. Classic use of the shoulders and we all really enjoyed it. We then all went into a hut, replicating what she lived in, in Ethiopia. She served us tea or coffee and then some traditional bread and then like a mother to her children, starting telling us her story. There are about 140,000 Ethiopian Jews living in Israel and we met a very special one with a very special story. She explained to us that life in Ethiopia was good but it had always been a dream of their parents to move to the Holy City, Jerusalem. So, they did. When she was a young girl, they embarked on a journey only so many could've wanted and began a 650km walk to Sudan. Unfortunately, we discovered that two of her sisters died on the way. But their mother stayed strong and realised their goal and they kept moving. Eventually, after 650 kilometres, they arrived in Sudan. Here, she boarded a plane to France, then to Germany and finally, the Holy Land. There is a prophecy in Judaism that we will all fly on the backs of eagles to the Land of Israel, and to them, the huge aircraft looked like the eagle. They danced and sang songs in total excitement and they now had fully accomplished the near impossible vision they once had. She said driving through the Old City streets at night was something she will never forget, seeing all the gold of Jerusalem shine. I never knew what an integral part Ethiopian Jews are to Israel, but they really are. They add the culture and diversity of the country and make Israel a better place. It was an amazing and enlightening experience that won't be forgotten any time soon. Then we went back to modern times, with pizza and pasta for lunch. After, we drove back to our hotel, Kibbutz Lavi and prepared for Shabbat. We all met downstairs in the lobby for photos and candle lighting and before you knew it, Shabbat was in. A really amazing Friday it was!!!