Day 33 - Lehava - Dinah Horowitz
After an intensive week of Israeli advocacy, touring the blind muesuem, hearing from Israeli startups and exploring the shuk, we were highly anticipating the spiritual and physical break that would be Shabbat.
We woke up bright and early at 6:45, packed our bags and headed onto the bus for an hour and a half ride to a kibbutz in the South or Israel. The kibbutz was both 7km away from Gaza and 7km away from Egypt. Here we would walk the salad trail which was both educational and enjoyable as we learned about the rich agricultural history of Israel.
Throughout the walk we were able to witness modern Israeli agricultural technology that is vital to sustaining life in the northern Negev desert.
Our first stop on the salad trail was the field of carrots. Here we got our hands dirty picking purple, white, yellow and orange carrots. Next we picked baby lemons and Chinese oranges which were absolutely delicious. After this we headed to the passionfruit maze, where the girls and boys had a race to see who could finish the maze first. Next we went to a tomato greenhouse where we were taught about bumble bees and the detrimental effects that their extincion would have on humanity. Following this we picked our own tomatoes and cucumbers, with a minority also choosing to pick some chillies, though they very quickly regretted their actions. Finally, we went to a greenhouse that housed strawberries. The strawberries I ate here were for sure the best that I have ever tasted!
Seeing how much effort was put into planting and harvesting the fruits and vegetables really changed the way I thought of food. We witnessed the mammoth efforts that farmers put into each and every harvest so that Israel and all of its exports can enjoy the very best produce.
We then went to a store on the same kibbutz where we saw amazing art including candle holders and mezuzah’s that were made out of the metal from launched rockets and iron domes in Sde Boker.
Seeing how these fragmented weapons intended for destruction had been repurposed into something both spiritually and aesthetically beautiful reiterated to me the incredible and unique way that Israeli’s both survive and thrive through the torrent of war and violence that they are forced to face on a daily basis.
After seeing the collection, we released homing pigeons from their cages into the sky before having lunch and buying ice creams.
We then left the kibbutz, traveling to another where we would spend Shabbas.
After preparing and welcoming in Shabbas in our usual, festive manner, we then sat down and had a delicious meal, followed by a tochnit where all the mads made a panel and answered various questions that we posed.
Today was reflective of a perfect day on IST: it was educational, as we revelled in the beautiful landscape of our homeland, and it was spiritual, as we felt the calming content that can only come through Shabbat.
We are all looking forward to what adventures the rest of our trip will bring, and I cannot wait to dive in.