Tiberius, Tzfat, and Kibbutz Lavi
Today on NCSY Euro ICE we started off the day with an Israeli style breakfast; if you are not familiar with the style, it is a endless buffet of food containing all the breakfast foods you can imagine… Okay, I can go on and on about the breakfast but I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the rest of the day. We left the overly homey and hospitable Kibbutz Lavi to go to Har Arbel. This mountain site is one of the many famed hiking trails in Israel. Before I got onto the hike let me preface: this was our first hike of the summer and we all were exhausted from last night. The hike itself was rather easy, (about 1.5 miles). So you would assume it would be done in 30-35 minutes, but not us! Not only did we take our time but we also managed to take up a B’nai Akiva group’s time who were conveniently placed behind us. Throughout the hike our incredible tour guide, Chanan, explained the history of the city and our ancestors. The whole hike took about 2 hours leaving us with just enough time to shower after our long sweaty hike- that was a joke! We did something even better. Everyone had an amazing time and were then excited to go to Aqua Kef. Aqua Kef is a super fun water park in the Kineret. This really made up for the 90 degree weather outside. After Aqua Kef we went to a mall and we were given money to eat at any restaurant we like. I really like this idea because it lets everyone choose what they want and isn’t just a set meal plan like we had in Europe. Then we visited the old city of Tzfat, one of the 4 most holy cities in Israel. We went to an art gallery/glassblowing demonstration and saw first hand how to make a glass pomegranate. You’d be surprised as to when this will come in handy, but once it does we will be ready. We then came back to the hotel and enjoyed a relaxing dinner followed by a night activity. The whole day was jam-packed and full of adventure, can’t wait for tomorrow!
Best. Summer. Ever.
Granada vlog by Sophie and Jenna
Shabbat in Madrid!
This first week of NCSY Euro ICE was absolutely amazing! One of the highlights of our week was the Shabbat we spent in Madrid. From the spiritual davening, to the unity we built, to the singing and the stories, it was truly a Shabbat to treasure forever.
Friday night we davened in a beautiful shul and shared our meal with the Jewish community in Spain. Learning their age old traditions and tunes was so interesting and the room was filled with ruach.
After lunch on Shabbat day we went to Retiro Park where we played team building games which really gave us the chance to connect with one another while exploring the gorgeous city.
Towards the end of shabbat, Jeremy shared an inspiring concept he calls, “Hashem said hello”. What this means is that even though something may seem bad at the time, we will be able to look back on it and see the good that came of it. In a sense, we will see Hashem saying hello. We heard moving stories from staff and NCSYers about their moments of seeing Hashem say hello in their everyday lives. We even received bracelets with this new message to help us always remember that everything is for a reason.
Shabbat concluded with a spirit filled kumzitz and Havdalah. It was a beautiful ending filled with singing, ruach and spirituality.
We are truly looking forward to the next three weeks, knowing they will end in the best Shabbats of our lives.
Aliza (Toronto) and Relly (New York)