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Incredible, Unimaginable, Unforgettable Journey

On Thursday, our third day of Lech Lecha, we experienced the theme of ben adam la’makom through various different activities. We started our morning with an early wake up and sunrise hike on Mount Tzfachot. There, we had the unique opportunity to look out and watch the sun rise over four different countries, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. On top of this mountain we grouped into our assigned circles to discuss how different psukim about God resonate with each of us. While sitting and looking out on top of this mountain, each of us truly gained a greater appreciation for Hashem and his creations.

After an eventful morning we then traveled to S’deh Boker, and visited the grave of David ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel. There, we learned how in each one of us we have the potential to achieve a similar greatness to that of Ben Gurion, so long as we continue to apply ourselves. We then traveled to Tel Azeka where we had the chance to see the place where David haMelech fought with Goliat the giant. This fight taught us an important lesson about our actions and how they directly affect our future. Here, we spoke with Bracha about the idea of thought process and the importance of making positive choices and well thought out decisions. After a full day of activities we drove to Nes Harim, where we slept that night and engaged in an energetic and enthusiastic chagiga. This chagiga really brought the entire day to together and allowed us to end our day on a really close and united front.

Because of the unfortunate passing of Israel’s former president, Shimon Peres, Friday did not go as previously planned but still managed to be an unforgettable day. We woke up and drove to Gush Ethzion where we watched a film on how the yeshuv was captured through great fight and wars. The movie portrayed the timeline in which these soldiers fought to capture this land. The movie explained that although many were killed during this process, there children lived on to populate the area and make it into the beautiful place that it is today. After this movie we drove to Oz v’Gaon, the memorial for Gilad, Eyal and Naftali and experienced a virtual tour of Har Herzl. Here, we learnt about the many courageous leaders who sacrificed their lives for the safety of our homeland. We then returned to Nes Harim and participated in a hands on activity where we crafted different designs out of modeling clay. These designs symbolized our need to mold ourselves and provide ourselves with the future that we want throughout this year.

On our final day of Lech lecha we experienced a beautiful Shabbat together as a community. We had the chance to sit in our smaller groups and participate in an Ayin Tova circle. Here, we complimented our friends and truly learned how to see the good in both ourselves and in others. It was an eye opening experience which allowed us to really get to know the members of our group as well as ourselves on a whole new level. Additionally, this Shabbat we indulged in parsha learning and meaningful davening. We also had the opportunity to participate in a moving and spiritual tish prior to saying havadala on motzei Shabbat.

This trip was a truly moving and inspirational experience that we feel will truly change the direction of our year for the better. It was an incredible and unimaginable journey that we will never forget.  

Tova Appel and Nicole Aranoff, Shana Alef


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