Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Even though Shabbat is a day of rest, we had some optional activites for our group. In the morning about 40 of us went to Rehovot to the bullet factory in Har haKibbutzim. This was a secret underground factory that made bullets for the Haganah for three years before 1948. It was a really amazing story and a great museum. It always boggles my mind how young these people were who created the State. The workers in this bullet factory were as young as 16. We have in our group a 16-year-old young man and I couldn't help but look at him and imagine him there, making bullets and working in furtive secrecy to create bullets for the resistance.

We returned to Jerusalem and had a lovely lunch and then met in the afternoon for the Tourgame (also optional!) educational scavenger hunt through the Old City - it was awesome. I have been in the Old City many times but even I loved it! We were all over the Jewish Quarter and learned a lot about all the places and history. We had to search for sights, answer questions and follow a map through the route. It was really great - I would definitely do it again!

Then Shabbat was about to draw to a close.... I headed up to the Tayelet to join three Am Shalom families who were celebrating their Bnot Mitzvah with Rabbi Steve. The view was breathtaking and the closeness of the Temple Mount was amazing. I slipped in at the end and shared a really magical and spiritual experience with these families.

We went back into Jerusalem and our whole group (including the Bnai Mitzvah families) joined together on the patio of the David Citadel hotel, overlooking the almost full moon over the Old City. The view was amazing and the atmosphere incredible. To share Havdalah in such a space...words cannot describe.

We were on our own for dinner and the group split up. Ben Yehuda Street was a zoo! Purim is still in full-swing and we were overwhelmed by the number of people out and about, the noise, the music, the costumes... and it just keeps going and going....

Tomorrow, Yad Vashem.

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