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A Surprise Shabbat Dinner

Today was a great day because we got to SLEEP IN! We met our guide Bar at 10:00 a.m. in the lobby and went on a great bus ride to a beautiful lookout over Metula and into Lebanon. We talked about the past conflicts between Israel and Lebanon and why the border is called the “Good Fence”. We then traveled to Cheese, a restaurant south of the Lebanese border in Beit Hillel. The food was delicious, and we finally got to choose our own dishes from the menu. We then got back on the bus and drove near Merom Golan where we divided into three jeeps.

We started on our jeep adventure with a wild and bumpy ride next to the Israel-Syria border. The drivers really pushed the cars to the limit by going over rocks, zooming through mud, and even driving up a staircase! After driving for a little bit, we made a stop to peek at a war bunker used for protection between Syria and Israel. It was amazing to see the trenches and underground cement rooms that were built by hand by the Israeli military. After visiting the bunker, and taking a quick break for tea and cookies, we hopped back in the cars to continue the tour. We passed by many abandoned buildings that previously belonged to the Syrian army before 1967 when the six-day war occurred. Israel gained the land after their victory in this war. Soon, we were stopped and brought into an abandoned military building for a surprise Shabbat dinner.

Everyone was ushered inside where we saw a beautiful setting of lights and nice couches set up for us. Once we got settled and warmed our hands with some much-needed heaters, the fun was about to begin. We were joined by an incredibly talented musician who used his voice and various instruments to make some absolutely amazing music. We also got to try many of the instruments ourselves and, of course, did some dancing too. This fun event was followed by a touching mini-shabbat service where we said a prayer for Rabbi Stern, sang songs, and listened to Bar’s amazing guitar skills. We finished off the night with a delicious meal from Puzzle Israel and lots of good laughs.

Thanks to Sydney, Sophie and Brendan for your help writing this post! - Emma, Jonah, & Sam

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