Today we were all spoilt as we had our very first sleep in! We only had to wake up at 8:15, what a treat! After having our last breakfast in the Metropolitan Hotel in Tel Aviv, we were all very excited for the fun day ahead. We walked to Shuk Ha’Carmel, where we were given time to shop, eat and embrace the Israeli culture. No matter how little time we had, us girls still came out with our hands full with many shopping bags. Of course this wasn't ideal as we are already way over the maximum weight for our luggage.
Nevertheless, we continued our day, hopping on a bus ride to Independence Hall. To visit Tel Aviv's Independence Hall is to touch the moment that the state of Israel was born. We felt a special connection to this place because we were standing in the exact spot where David Ben Gurion pronounced Israel’s Declaration of Independence in 1948 and because of this historic event, us Jews are able to live freely in Israel.
After this, we all spilt up into our seperate buses and were on our way to Shabbat hospitality in Baka, Jerusalem. Our host family collected us from the pick up location after waiting for us for an hour, because we are obviously late as usual - great first impression. After introducing ourselves, we had a short while to get ready for Shule before Shabbat came in.
Out of nowhere, we heard a loud siren and we started panicking, so we ran out of our room to see what was going on! Tabbi and her husband, John, were waiting in the lounge and explained to us that the siren was sounded to declare that Shabbat has begun. Feeling relieved, we lit the Shabbat candles with Tabbi.
After this, we walked to Shule where we actually happened to see many of our friends and their host families. After the Shule service, we returned to our family’s house and had a delicious Shabbat meal. They had invited many guests which was great as we were able to meet many families from this community. We bonded over some challah and grape juice. Later we were lucky to go to Bnei Akiva, where we met up with our whole bus and mingled with Israeli kids from the community. Overall we had a great day and enjoyed every minute.