It is now Saturday evening and Shabbat has ended. Our teens spent the day with their host families doing what most Israelis do on Shabbat: sleep late, eat good food, spend time with family and friends, and travel to new sites. For such a small country, it is quite extraordinary that there is always a new place to travel to and explore.
Rabbi Stern, Rabbi Joe Eiduson, Rosie and I had our own private "tiyyul" (field trip) with our Puzzle Israel friends, Nir and Guy. (Nir and Guy will be guiding us a group beginning on Tuesday when we depart from Haifa.) We explored Lower Galilee, including the small Jewish settlements in the area known as "Misgav." We were treated to an authentic Bedouin lunch before coming back to Haifa. The beautiful views from atop the hills, and the gardens lovingly planted and tended to by Israelis, were absolutely breathtaking!
The teens reunited this evening at a well-know artsy mall with stores and galleries called The Castra. One if the Israeli students, Barak, turned 16 today, and his parents hosted a lovely evening for all of the students in a party room at The Castra - complete with a DJ and lights, pizza, soda and birthday cake! You would think that these students hadn't seen each other in months when they arrived at the party this evening....they all hugged and kissed and shared stories of their respective Shabbat travel adventures. It was a typical winter day in the north of Israel - rays of sun alternated with the much needed and blessed rains of the season. Our day was made complete by a gentle rainbow over the Mediterranean Sea - a symbol of promise and hope and peace. We are so fortunate to be here together.
Rabbi Lisa Eiduson