Na'aleh Day 9: Kovi Smith

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It was that time of the day again; time for us all to get up and get ready for another inspirational day at Lev Hatorah. Another classic morning on Na'aleh with the Montefiore buffet, Shacharit in the basement and then onto the bus, giving us plenty of time to relax before getting straight into some solid learning.

The bus ride was a little different than usual. Not only did we look out the window to see the first rain of the trip, but we had finally brainwashed our bus driver, Reuven, as he was playing some Yaakov Shweky on the bus before we even got on.

We arrived at the Yeshiva for our daily morning seder with Rav Kahn, continuing the discussion about Purim and exploring the Halachot regarding drinking at the seudah. We had forty minutes to go through a range of commentaries and understand their opinions of what drinking at the seudah actually means.

After a short break, we returned to our classroom for a Halachah shiur from David Wolfowicz. We learned about the brachot that we say on processed foods once they have become unrecognizable from the original product, like potato chips. We then moved onto a topic called 'dikduk'. This topic includes all types of Hebrew grammar and the way we pronounce words properly. All the boys found this very interesting, as it was the first time most of us had heard of this concept, and it is a topic which has direct implications for practical Judaism.

Moving onto the third shiur, thinking we were having Rabbi Allen, we were all very eager to get there as he has become our favourite Rabbi over the past week due to his clear insight into several contemporary Jewish issues. Unfortunately, he couldn’t speak to us. Instead, we were introduced to another Rabbi from the Yeshiva, Rabbi Hartstein. Over the 45 minutes that we had him, he jumped up the ranks very quickly. His charisma really drew us all in to the halachic topic he was addressing, 'Yichud'. This is the prohibition of seclusion in a closed room with a man and a woman who aren't married to each other. He put out a case to the group and we would have to answer whether we thought the scenario was ok or not according to Torah law.

After lunch, we moved straight into our chavrutot, pairing up with boys in the Yeshiva. My chavruta and I learned a little Chassidut (Chassidic Philosophy).  Then, we all moved upstairs for a follow-up shiur on Zionism by Rav Dudi. He gave us insight into Rav Kook's philosophy on Israel and the importance of the Jewish people making Israel their home. This was a very intriguing shiur as it opened our minds and taught us the real reasons behind why Israel is such a holy place for us as Jews, and why it is an essential factor which allows Judaism to thrive, rather than an external factor.

And that was our 6th day of Yeshiva.

After we had picked up the girls from their day at Midrasha, we headed to the Israel Museum. Some of us had been before but many people, myself included, had never really found it such a fascinating place. We saw some of the most famous exhibits, such as a replica of the ancient city of Jerusalem from the time of the second Beit Hamikdash. We also saw the micro tanach (world’s smallest bible) and the famous Dead Sea scrolls. Our guide was the one and only David Wolfowicz who gave us a great amount of information on each of these artefacts.

Dinner was the stock-standard Montefiore buffet, but some of us still wanted more, so out of pure kindness, David allowed us to go down to Ben Yehudah with Mr Grauman for a little free time to buy stuff in the area. On arrival back to the hotel, we sat down with the mads for twenty minutes to chat with them about what we were really enjoying and what has been more challenging on this pre-IST journey.

And that was Day 9 of Na'aleh!!!!

Na'aleh Day 9: Leila Freedman

Na'aleh Day 8: Zoe Said and Jessica Shub