Na'aleh - Day 2 - Eytan Taub
The day started with an ‘Angel’ run (which is becoming a frequent morning routine), where as usual we got our cheap rogelach and a shoko. We davened Shacharit at our hotel and of course we were late for the schedule. We were all still a bit tired from the night before as some new Israelis came and chilled with us outside our rooms. After Shacharit the group went to the cheder ochel where a massive and delicious buffet was served. David told us that today was going to be a jam-packed day filled with activities, as well as our first day of Yeshiva/ Midrasha.
Speaking on behalf of the boys, we were all pumped for our first day and were excited to begin our journey of yeshiva life. We arrived at Yeshivat Lev Hatorah and had an orientation and introduction to what we would be doing for the next two weeks. We received our schedules and our folders, which by the end would be filled with sheets and notes of all that we had learnt. Knowing that this book will soon be filled with words of Torah was something very exciting for us all.
Straight after our orientation, Rabbi Cytrin, the rabbi who is looking after us at the yeshiva, took us to explore Beit Shemesh, the city where our yeshiva is based. We were told to bring hiking boots just for the day because we would be exploring the area and they were definitely handy. The bottom of our boots got very muddy from the ground because it had rained a lot last night, and whilst this seemed like an inconvenience to us, we learnt that the rain is something which Israeli’s see as a big blessing. On our tour, we learnt what a ‘Tel’ is, how to know if a city was Jewish in biblical times, and we climbed through an underground water reservoir. We then travelled a bit more and learnt about the 35 heroes of the Palmach who sacrificed their lives at Gush Etzion before the war of independence. It was really surreal to see just how every part of Israel has Jewish history embedded throughout.
After free time, we were ready to start our formal learning for the day. We were introduced to Rav Kahn, an inspirational Rabbi who spoke to us about the ‘Torah Shebichtav’ (Written Torah), and the ‘Torah She Baal Pe’ (Oral Torah). It was different to a normal Moriah College Jewish Studies class because instead of no one listening, everyone was completely attentive as the Rav related the Torah to our daily lives.
After Rav Kahn’s shiur, we were taken on a tour by two yeshiva students who were excited to show us around. We were shown the kitchen, the Cheder Ochel, the dorms and the balconies where the students would chill. We davened mincha and hopped straight on a bus back to Jerusalem.
This was our first opportunity to properly meet family and that’s what many of us did. We had free time in the mall for two hours where we could chill with each other or family. We travelled back on our private bus and the driver played the Na'aleh song “Feliz Nevidad”. We davened Maariv and played a few games before bed.
Overall the day was filled with learning and excitement and we are all keen for the next two weeks to come.