And so the day began with a record 8 hours sleep, some quality Israeli cottage cheese and an inordinate amount of Shakshuka. What more could you need? Donkey's did you say? Woah, woah, woah...hold your horses.
Our day began with a two-hour bus ride to the North of Israel. We drove through some beautiful valleys and mountains, and eventually arrived in the village of Hoshaya. It was there that we were greeted by a man who bore an uncanny resemblance to that of Tevye, from Fiddler On The Roof. He explained to us the history of the surrounding area, and referenced biblical sources that directly correlated to the ancient dress code of the Jewish people. We then dressed ourselves in robes and head coverings so as to immerse ourselves in the practices of the ancient biblical times.
The day was set out in a format that would have us go through three activities. But first, lunch, as if breakfast wasn't enough. We were ushered into a hut, where the floors were covered in Persian-looking carpets and the light sifted in through makeshift bamboo-stick walls. The hut was lined with a series of low stools and tables, and we sat down to a meal of hot home made pita breads, hummus, Israeli salad, beef and chicken with rice. It was an absolute feast.
Anyway, back to the activities. In the first one, "Tevye" explained to us the laws of the oral Torah pertaining to farming, and helped us bake discs of flatbread with flour that he milled and grew himself. Next, we sat around in a circle, discussing concepts from the Mishnah. Lastly, we rode donkeys. It involved some incredible views, much laughter, and a lot of screaming.
After the three activities, we were invited to sit and have tea and fresh dates under the impending sunset. This provided for a great opportunity to share stories and photos with our friends from the other bus groups.
A short drive took us to Kibbutz Lavi, our accommodation for the night. After a quick maariv service, we were given two hours to learn, exercise or chill, before meeting in the Cheder Ochel for a delicious, filling dinner.
All of us seemed to be absolutely exhausted by the time it hit 9pm, and were all looking forward to going to sleep early before tomorrow’s 6am wake-up!
All in all it was another great day in Israel. I'm looking forward to what ever this country has to throw at us next.