Na'aleh - Day 1 - Dani Plit and Shuli Grauman
Today is the day, we all arrived at the airport bright and early. After the ever frantic job of checking in our inevitably over weight bags, we all moved towards the departures walk way. Mr Grauman and Ilan shared a few words of inspiration as we were about to embark on this two week journey. We stood in a circle and sang Hatikvah loud and proud with our mads, friends and family. Then the moment came, after many tears and hugs, we said our goodbyes, ready to begin our amazing journey.
After a long 21 hours (and a very stressful and short one hour layover) of flying and exhaustion, we were finally home. Singing Hatikvah yet again again in the Holy Land, our land, with our new mads and friends...
After arriving late on Sunday night we awoke the next morning and headed straight to the Tayelet/Armon Hanatziv, a beautiful lookout of the whole of Jerusalem. Our madrichim showed us how from this spot you could see all of the old city of Jerusalem. Here we were also treated to a yummy breakfast of bagels and muffins before heading out to our next destination.
The bus took us on the short trip from the Tayelet to the old city. Whilst waiting in the Rova Square for some of our madrichim we found a bunch of primary school students and a saxophone playing busker. Whilst the busker played we all sang along and danced with the kids. I guess you can say dance really breaks language barriers.
Once the remainder of our madrichim arrived we headed down the old city steps to the Kotel. A particularly special moment for me and some other students as it was our first look at the wall we have learned about our whole life. At the Kotel we prayed mincha amongst crowds of people with some of us sharing our prayers on paper and placing it in the cracks of the wall.
After spending many hours in the Jewish quarter, we walked through Mamilla mall to a book store in the centre of town. However as we made the short walk we were all met with an unexpected storm, safe to say we were all not prepared and many girls shared screams of "oh no my hair". Once we arrived at the book store (drenched) we received vouchers to each buy a book for our own personal learning projects. We all chose a variety of books, from Jewish thought to the history of Zionism. After this we all had some free time to chill on Ben Yehuda and shop.
For dinner we headed back to the hotel by light rail, which was a really great way to travel and feel like a real Israeli! After dinner we all had an early night.
We are all looking forward to starting midrasha and yeshiva tomorrow. Our madrichim have assured us we won't be too out of our depths!!
We miss you all back home!
Keep reading tomorrow to hear what we learn and do.
Dani Plit and Shuli Grauman