Day 11 - Neztach - Alex Basserabie
We woke up on Thursday morning in a rather different hotel to the past week’s string of five-star hotels, and as you can probably imagine, absolutely no one complained. So at the relatively late time of 9:30 we started our days’ activities.
We started with a talk from Arye Ben David, a member of Kibbutz Misgav Am, one of the closest kibbutzim to the Lebanon border. Although some of his personal opinions were at times quite controversial for some, Arye helped us understand the major struggles and worries the people of Kibbutz Misgav Am, and all Kibbutzim that sit in close proximity to Israeli enemies, face on an everyday basis.
As Australian Jews, living on a remote island, with our closest neighbour across an ocean, we don’t often think about the concept of hostile neighbours less than 100m away, bidding for our death. The enemies of Israel have tried to invade Kibbutz Misgav Am over three times, and yet they still hold on to their land with an iron fist.
The harsh reality then set in for us, the people of Israel still need to fight for the very thing they’ve fought for since the end of the 19th century, and what they have prayed for, for over 2000 years... The right to live in a land to call their own.
This concept carried on to our next tochnit in our family groups, where we discussed what it meant to be a hero. Sitting on the border with Lebanon after hearing from a man who has defended our country and our people countless times, made us consider our own heroism and what we can do to become a hero in our own lives.
After the morning’s talk, we went for a lunch of pizza and salad, followed by a quick shop at the local mall for only the bare essentials - copious amounts of junk food.
We then went on for a bike ride around the beautiful Chulla Valley, a nature reserve located in the North of Israel. This 8.5km ride took us on a tour of some the land they fought for. There were huge fields of crops and picturesque lakes with thousands of cranes and other birds congregating in the distance. This was probably the highlight of the day, though crashes were aplenty, including a rather spectacular crash into a river.
After dinner back at the hotel, we got back on the road, visiting the site of a 1300-year-old synagogue in the Golan Heights. This just reminded our group of the history we have here in Israel and the significance of our claim to the entire land. We also had a great time drumming to Israeli music nearby, even witnessing some of Adam Cohen’s great maraca skills.
That’s all from our fourth day in Israel, and we’re all excited for the next four and a half weeks!