Day 14: Lehava Israel - Ariah Michel

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Friday the 8th of December; a beautiful day filled with laughter, enjoyment and a vibrant energy throughout the camp as the Sabbath approached. A visit to the ancient city of Katzrin gave us energy and hope, to refill the lively city that once lay in the north of Israel, and make the upcoming Sabbath one to remember.

After the tour of the village, we made a short trip to our lovely host’s house, named Keren. She offered us tea and welcomed us into her home, which really enriched the experience of Shabbat and again showed us what it means to be united as one Jewish nation, a family.

As we sang and praised Rav Dav on the bus ride home, singing and chanting in the good spirits of Shabbat, we swapped the English Football Friday night lights for a Jewish Friday night tisch where we discovered our madrich - Katzy's - tone deaf voice.  Learning just how much our ears could take, we sang late into the night. With the joy and wisdom of fellow madrichim Adam Cohen and Daniel Katz, discussions sparked, leaving many with a warm feeling of accomplishment and success. After a beautiful Shabbat meal, with lovely brachot being harmonised with the fellas, we spoke deeply about the world we live in, and how we, as the next generation, have a job bigger than what our eyes can see. We spoke about how we must carry the legacy we were gifted with, and further develop our understanding, of Jewish life and rituals.

As Shabbat continued the next day, the stray cats strolled the Kibbutz smiling and laughing as if they knew what day it was. As Jerry (the local cat) came for his daily harassment, it almost felt as if this little cat knew how special this day was. Sparking off that cheeky smile, looking for food, he seemed to do just fine.

Breakfast always seems to impress. although some of us slept in, missing the deluxe meal whilst munching away at the iconic Bissli and tea combo, listening to the morning prayers of Shabbat. Minutes after breakfast we spoke about the upcoming day and then continued to eat more food as we Jewish people do, munching away at lunch.

After lunch we were gifted free time, where we played a large game of football and I realised how unfit I actually am. After an intense 1-1 draw, the game was taken into extra time. 15 minutes after play, penalties were upon us. It was as if G-d was watching over my team. Ryan Mayer pulled off a miraculous save to send Riley's penalty over the cross bar, transforming the faces of the onlooking spectators. As blood was lost and tears were shed, the Saturday football game came to an end. Shabbat was an amazing day.

An hour later, I had a long sleep due to the intensity of the game. Afterwards, we had a beautiful tisch with a lovely story shared by Ben Silberman as he expressed his feelings toward Poland. The Shabbat ended with the high spirits of Adam Cohen’s voice. This Shabbat could not have been better.

Day 15: Netzach, Israel - Nicola Weiss

Day 14: Netzach, Israel - Zoe Said