Na'aleh Shabbat Blog - Day 6 - Noah Feilich
As every Moriah-related Shabbat starts, we all waited till the last minute to shower and get ready before rushing down to the lobby for what has become a somewhat traditional pre-Shabbat photo session. After multiple poses and countless retakes, the walk to Mayanot (a small shule in Nachalot) began. When we arrived, the mix of people caught my eye. Every type of Jew seemed present from the Chabad Rav of the shule to us Moriah students. Of those in attendance some were young yeshiva students, others much older and probably frequent bingo players. What happened soon after arrival blew my mind. The overall vibe in Mayanot on Friday night was incredible. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked to see, not only the youngsters but the seniors also jumping just as joyously whilst we circled the bimah at the conclusion of Lecha Dodi.
We returned to the hotel for a delicious buffet dinner followed by night activities organised by some of us students. A definite highlight was the blind rougelach taste test our madrichim had us participate in. As to be expected the famous Marzipan rougelach from the shuk won us all over.
Shabbat day had arrived and we were all super keen for the 40 minute walk on the hottest day of the week to the Nitzanim shule in Katamon. On arrival we were all pleasantly suprised when we saw old hesder boys Alex and Moshe as well as many other Aussies who had made aliyah over the years. On a personal note, I was very honoured to get a call up to the Torah and was blown away by the ba’al koreh who must have been 14 and had the voice of an angel. When the service concluded we proceeded to the new Israelis in town, Rabbi Benjy and Renanah. The lunch was awesome. It had been prepared all week long by a professional chef and despite there being some scarily coloured sauces it was delicious.
After welcoming us to his new home Rabbi Benjy asked us to reflect on the past week and share what we had most enjoyed and learnt so far. It was really nice for us to all hear from each other as we don’t usally take time to reflect when talking amongst ourselves. I then gave a dvar torah on Parashat Toldot and explained how all of us on Naaleh can learn and grow from the actions of both Yaakov and Rivka.
We returned from lunch around an hour before Shabbat was to conclude. We had Seudah (the third meal of Shabbat) followed by Maariv and a musical Havdallah. After Shabbat we quickly ran onto the bus (obviously not before sending our snapchat streaks) and rushed off to Teddy Stadium for a much anticipated rock climbing session. I can say on behalf of everyone that this was one of the best activities we have done so far. It was awesome to see everyone participating and cheering each other on, as to ensure we all had the best time possible.
Just like that our first Shabbat in Eretz Hakodesh was over. It was so much fun and if every Shabbat on IST is like that, we are all in for a treat.
By Noah Feilich