We started off Thursday by davening at the Western Wall. After that we went to volunteer at a place that I don’t know what it’s called to pack food for poor people. Our group for sure packed the most bags. When we finished we went to the blind museum. it was interesting. At the blind museum we did a tour on what it felt like to be blind, and I really enjoyed how comfortable I felt, it was really interesting. After that we went to an art museum that was the spot where hey declared the state of Israel and learnt about the history of Israel. Then we went to the first school in Tel Aviv. After that we shopped in a big shuk after then we went to Ben Yehudah and shopped around, then we came back to the hotel to sleep.
Today we went to the kotel for a little bit, the stones were bigger then I thought they would be, soon after we took a tour of the kotel tunnels to see how they built the city … On top of a mountain, so Herod wanted a huge platform for a huge temple on top of Har moriah, but the problem was that the mountain was two small for his building so he decided to build a new foundation, the western wall were everybody daven is only a very small part of the whole wall of the western retention wall! But the reason why we daven at this wall Is because they say it is the closest thing to were the beit hamikdash and the kodesh HaKedashim would have been. After we toured the kotel tunnels we went to the bait hamikdash exhibit of all of the Kailim that were exactly made according to the rules to be ready for the third beit hamikdash!! It was very interesting and amazing to see all of the details in each of them and how they weren’t able to re-create the Aron because it’s not allowed. This exhibit was absolutely once in a life time experience. And finally my favorite part of this day, A couple of people accidentally bought four pies of pizza instead of four slices and had to walk through chizkiyahu’s water tunnels with it. We ended our day visiting Sara’s family all made from St. Louis! It was a long day walking around everywhere and an awesome one.
Today we started waking up at 4 am thanks to Connecticut group then went back to sleep and then woke up from a meowing peacock and from birds and the cold but it was all good👍! We went to Daven and then went to eat breakfast we quickly ate breakfast and went to camel ridings where Jeffrey got eaten by a camel but he’s okay. The camel ride was a ton of fun! We went on our way to Masada where we learned a very complicated song(the only word in the song is Masada) then after learning a lot about Herod the great we found a Torah scribe who we got to talk to and ask him questions and he wrote all of our names in Torah writing and was very generous. He works inside Masada so he gets a lot of exercise each day! We took the long path down Masada called the snake path while singing “Masada” loudly so others can join. After Masada we went to the Dead Sea, ouch! Our cuts stung so much! After cleansing our faces we went to קבר רחל which Rabbi Green told us a story about a daughter whose wedding was the next day but she and her father were in a terrorist attack so she wasn’t able to walk down the isle but her wedding dress was made into a covering to the Aron so the girls went to see it and took pictures for the boys and davened and then went on our way. We dropped off Dr. Nir (our medic) and went to Kiryat Moriah in yerushalayim and designed our sweatshirts! Oh, and went to sleep! We also saw cats that we didn’t touch them because rabbi said no😭.
Today was Yom HaShoah, and on our way to volunteering, which I will speak about later, there was a siren that went off at 10 AM to remember the Holocaust. After that, we went to volunteer cleaning up the forest where one of the people from the קקל explained to us that after the forest fire they had, they are doing everything they can to protect the trees by cutting the lower branches off which we cleaned up out of the forest. We also went to and learned about where Shaul fought and died. After that we went to a water hike in the lower Galil and they also had theses pipes that you could go into like a water slide that was really fun. Then, we went to the Bedouin tents where we learned about Bedouin culture and their lifestyle. We also went out farther into the desert where Rabbi Green showed us a way to meditate which was really cool. After that, we had a bonfire where we roasted marshmallows and sang a lot of songs!
Today we started the day by going on an amazing hike in the Upper Galil! In the middle of the hike we got to climb through a cave. In the cave Rabbi Green and others decided to try to scare me, but they couldn’t. I’m invincible. After the cave we walked through a small stream and played an intense game of “wah” . Then we drove to Acco and had falafel for lunch. Afterwards we had a walking tour through this beautiful city. First we went to a really tall wall that had protected Acco for hundreds of years. While we were at the wall Rabbi Green decided it would be funny to spit water at us, but once again he failed and I spat water at him. Then we went to the Ramchal shul and learned his philosophy and davened mincha. We then went to the beach, which wasn’t exactly a beach. The ocean was very fun, though the ocean got in a fight with us a bit, a couple of bumps later we are all good!! Later we had a Yom HaShoah tekes led by our madrichah and tour guide. Today was awesome!!
friday, april 21st | Shabbat in the old city of tzfat
Shabbat in Tzfat was absolutely spectacular! We davened Friday night at a carlebach Shul named Beirav. This Shul was like nothing I’ve ever seen before, not only was the Shul packed with guys and girls dancing with joy to קבלת שבת but the street were also filled!
Shabbat morning we went to the Ari’s (Isaac Luria) Shul, which was very inspiring to see and learn about, what makes this Shul special is that the Ari would sing (קבלת שבת) at this place and because of him we welcome Shabbat in every Friday night. We had a delicious and big variety of food like jachnun which is fried dough, and a tomato paste, to go with it and for the grand finale we had DORITOS!!! Never have I ever seen a package of chips be eaten so fast!
Shabbat in Tzfat was truly different. The streets were winding stone alleyways, with numerous flights of stairs. We stayed in a Hostel with a few other families and a separate touring group. We went to shul on Friday night at Beirav, a Carlebach shul, which was so packed that we barely made it in, and eventually fled outside to escape the crowd. We danced during קבלת שבת, and enjoyed the nice weather. For Shacharit we went to a nice shul, and had an amazing davening. After lunch, we went to Mincha at Beirav and toured the old city of Tzfat. We saw the Rav Yossef Cairo Beit Knesset and The Ari’s Shul. We visited a beautiful Mizrachi shul, the Abuhav Shul, which I, as a Sephardi, really enjoyed, and walked back to the Hostel for some rest time. We played cards, and Zevi and I played various games with some of our younger friends (3 and 5 years old, respectively). We had a nice seudah shlishit, played some ping pong, and davened maariv. Shabbat in Tzfat was an amazing experience, and one I won’t soon forget.
This week on the Green Vlog, Rabbi Green reminds us the importance of welcoming guests during the season of Passover. Recently, EHA had an opportunity to welcome Maor Friedman to our 4th grade class while his family resides at the Ohel Rina & Michael Bikur Cholim House. We want to thank the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis and the Staenberg Family Foundation for creating this wonderful opportunity for us to open our doors to a family in need.
This week’s Green Vlog features a very special guest: Dr. Steven Freedman, Head of School at Hillel Day School in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Freedman led the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) visiting team who spent the first half of the week at EHA. ISACS is a membership organization of more than 230 independent schools from 13 states across the Midwest region of the country. The ISACS accreditation process occurs every seven years involving a comprehensive self-study, parent survey and visit from a team of experts. We enjoyed the process tremendously and look forward to receiving the formal report in June!
This past Tuesday, EHA hosted its 74th Annual Banquet, “Grow With Us” honoring Bobby and Chelle Medow. This week on the Green Vlog, Rabbi Green relays his sincere thanks to those who made this special evening a resounding success.