Our convincing to go back to the Kotel really worked. We were all looking forward to a day off from Midrasha and Yeshiva; instead, we landed up going to the best places Jerusalem can offer: the Shuk and the Kotel. With not much of a sleep in as we would have liked, we ate our buffet hotel breakfast and dressed nicely because we knew a few pictures would be taken. We met downstairs at the lobby, ready for a walk to the Kotel. There was quite a lot of anticipation going to the Kotel for a second time to have a proper look around (because the previous time was the minute we came from off the plane). It was a lovely walk with sunny skies and a temperature of 25 degrees. Walking through the Jewish Quarter, and seeing the view of the dome of the rock, was mesmerising. Prayers have never been so special. We were standing right up close to the wall saying the most amazing and meaningful prayers surrounded by people who are so passionate. After davening individually, we walked to the best position to take photos of each other with the wall as the backdrop.
We then went to the Mamila Mall where I tried Aroma for the first time while looking through the shops. We also got given a Mystery Moshe name for Shabbat. Not long after that, we walked to the shuk and got the famous food tour by the best tour guide, David Wolfowicz. He showed us the most delicious food places and suggested the things we should order. We then had free time to look around and buy our Mystery Moshe a present. We were pushing and shoving our way through the shuk, just the same as the Jews who were trying to get ready and organised for Shabbat - it was jam packed. We walked back to the hotel and didn’t have long till Shabbat came in, so we arrived and ran back to our rooms to get ready.
An hour later we were back downstairs for Shabbat pictures and off to shule we walked. As we arrived at shule we only expected a normal service. When the service started, everyone started to get involved! There was dancing, and loud singing and very passionate people surrounding us. We walked back to the hotel for a Shabbat dinner and when singing some Shabbat songs, the people at the table next to us decided to join in and were all clapping along to our singing. After dinner we benched and walked downstairs to see what the ‘Shabbas committee’ (Davi and Leila) had in stall for us. This was a panel where we would ask our madrichim a question and they would all give their own opinion. The questions included topics about the future of the Sydney Jewish community and how to bring Na’aleh with us until the future. This heated the room up and we had to put out the sparks out with a bit of water. Once the discussion ended we began with the famous Shabbat game of parliament. The day ended with a great sleep ready for the big Shabbat day ahead.
With love Erin xxx