Monday, February 6, 2012

KSA Israel: Making our way back to the north

Okay, truth be told it was a disappointing night for us here in our part of Israel and so many of us are tired from having woken up for the 1:30 am kickoff and watching the game.  Although we had a later start today, we were all a little sluggish for the first part of the day.

We began with a rousing rendition of "Boker Tov," a fabulous song of greeting and waking up that got our blood flowing and our bodies moving.  Replete with hand gestures and a lot of yelling, we couldn't help but put smiles on our faces!  We then were ready for another wonderful tefilah in at Park Timna, located about twenty minutes north of Eilat, where we enjoyed the spectacular sandstone, granite and rock formations that surrounded us on three sides.  The rocky terrain gave us places to sit, stand and daven and provided us with a majestic backdrop for our daily conversation with God.  Today, as we focused on listening to what God was saying to each of us, it was incredibly powerful that for a single moment, nobody in our group was moving, no rocks falling and no sound coming from any place that we could see or hear.  The silence was golden, yet it said so much to us.

After tefilah, we learned all about scorpions and many of our children decided to see what it would be like to have a scorpion touching their face...don't worry, the stinger was held on the opposite end, so there was no danger to anyone.  And yes, as you watch the video, that is me declining to participate in the activity--creatures like these are just not my thing.

From there, we participated in three short hikes around the various formations and copper mines, learning about the chemical compound, erosion and the land on which we were walking.  It was a slower pace, but interesting elements nonetheless.  We enjoyed a lovely lunch of felafel and fabulous Israeli salads.  For many of our kids, this trip is the first time that they are trying foods out of their comfort zones and they are doing a great job!

Of course, consistent with other days, our next stop was a trip highlight--a stop at the Yotveta store.  Yotveta is a dairy kibbutz located about twenty minutes north of Park Timna.  The kibbutz is famous for its chocolate milk and so many other dairy products.  We bought souvenirs and everyone was treated to an ice cream.

We then got back on the bus for the approximately two hour bus ride to the Masada Youth hostel where we are staying for the next two nights.  We had originally planned to wake up early and climb Masada in order to see the sunrise, but as today has been cloudy and foggy and that is the forecast for tomorrow, the group opted to sleep a little later, have breakfast and then begin the climb up to the top to daven and to learn about the rich history.

You can click here to see today's video and I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow after we spend our day atop Masada, floating in the Dead Sea and hiking in Ein Gedi!

Marc Medwed
Head of School

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