LYA Israel Experience 2019 Blog

Jaffa Port

This post is brought to you by Riki Volovik and Rishi Wolvovsky.

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Today we went to Jaffa port, the place where Yonah went when he received a prophecy from Hashem and wanted to escape. He went to the port of Jaffa where he was thrown off a ship and eaten by a giant fish! He was later spat out back in Israel.

We refreshed our memory as we reviewed the story of Yonah. Afterwards, we went to the shops nearby to haggle and bargain with the shopkeepers there. It was a much different experience than at home, in America. Here the shops are outdoors like a flea market, and the store owners tried to pressure us into buying their goods by lowering their prices for us.

It was a very fun experience and a different way of shopping!

Dialogue with the Dark

This post is brought to you by Riki Volovik and Rishi Wolvovsky.

The Israeli Children’s Museum in Holon has an amazing exhibit called Dialogue in the Dark. In this exhibit, children and adults can experience the way that blind or visually impaired people get around daily. There is no light whatsoever, and each group is led by a visually impaired or blind tour guide.

In the beginning of the tour, it is difficult to find your way around, because you are not yet used to the dark. We relied on our friends and our tour guide’s voice, and were able to get through the places. After a while, we became accustomed to the darkness and enjoyed our experience immensely. We went through many rooms, each one being original and different than the next. Each room had the right sound effects and textures that made each room feel so real. It was fun to feel around and guess which place we were in.

We visited a jungle, a cabin, a ship (with real water!), a supermarket, a street, a sound room (where we listened to music and felt the vibrations on the floor), and a cafeteria. In the cafeteria, we bought snacks and drinks in the dark. It was amazing how the workers were able to give back exact change even though they were not told how much money they were given. (Note: Israeli money has different sizes for each bill and coin).

Afterwards, while still in the dark, we sat down and discussed our experience and asked questions about our guide. Then, we went back into the light and saw our tour guide. It was humorous how when we saw our guide, we were surprised at the way they looked. We imagined them so much differently!

Zip Lining

 This post is brought to you by Yosef Lemkin.

On Thursday at Ammunition Hill we got to do zip lining, rock climbing, and we climbed a rope ladder. The reason these activities are at Ammunition Hill is because the Israeli soldiers used team work and cheered each other on while fighting to secure the hill. The activities were designed to build those skills in our group. First we climbed the rope ladder which was kind of hard. The rope ladder was attached to a tree. The person who ran the activities is named Yacov.  The activities were fun and challenging. We did a great job cheering our friends. Some of us tried new things we had never done before and surprised ourselves.

Ammunition Hill

 In order to understand the miracles of the Six Day War a visit to Ammunition Hill is a must. It was here that a strategic battle was fought that allowed the IDF to gain control of the Old City. Before we talk about that battle which took place in 1967 it is necessary to go back to 1964 when Levi Eshkol was then the Minister of Agriculture.

At that time getting water was a huge issue. Levi Eshkol had a brilliant idea to create a national water carrier from the Kineret and pump it to the Negev (desert). The one problem was that Syria had control then of the Golan and were super upset about this plan. Hafez Al Assad who was then in control of Syria decided to divert the water away from Israel. Then he proclaimed that he will drive Zionists into the sea.

In 1967 in Egypt Gamal Abdul Nassar also got involved and decided to be tough against Israel. He told the UN to remove their troops from the Sinai Peninsula. (and they listened) After that Nassar began to move in his troops. Not to be outdone Assad moved his troops into the Golan. Israel is watching Egypt and Syria prepare for war.

 At this time both of those countries look to Jordan and push them into signing an armistice agreement that if anything happens Jordan will fight alongside them. Jordan signs the agreement. (This is important to the reunification of Jerusalem that will happen later.)

 Egypt now closes the Straights of Tiran, which is an act of war. Levi Eshkol is now prime minister and he was known as being a sweet, quiet man. He informed Syria and Egypt, “we don’t want to fight, but we will if we have to.” The world perception was that Israel was weak.

Well, we were not as weak as people thought. On June 5, 1967 Israel bombed the Egyptian air fields and took out their army in 1 & ½ days. Levi Eshkol asked Jordan not to get involved. They refused and began bombing Israel. (It is important to note that since Jordan was involved we were able to take back the Old City)  At the same time we pushed back the Syrians and took back the Golan.

The military was then sent into Jerusalem to secure certain areas and save them from the Jordanians. The army secured the Jewish enclave and Hebrew University. Thank

G-d the military and the government realized that strategically they had surrounded the Old City and that now was the time to go in.

First they needed to capture Ammunition Hill. This was an ammunition site built by Jordan after 1948 with a system of bunkers and trenches that the IDF was not familiar with. The army went in and for some soldiers it was a suicide mission. There was one soldier with the last name Kendall who was on the hill. He volunteered to go out of the trenches and throw a grenade to stop the Jordanians. This small act could have killed him as well as his entire family, since this man whose last name is Kendall was the last surviving member of his family who were all wiped out in Poland during the Holocaust. He did not stop to think and went on to fight. Thank G-d we saw him in a video telling this amazing story to his grandchildren.

After securing Ammunition Hill, the soldiers moved on into the Old City. An old woman stopped a soldier and presented him with an Israeli flag. She told him she was a resident of the Old City, who was forced to leave in 1948. She told the soldier, “take this flag and when you get to the Temple Mount, please raise it. Remember the Jewish people all over the world are pushing you with their fingertips.”

B”H the soldiers were successful and the soldier did put up the flag. There was not a dry eye while the soldiers realized the ramifications of what they had accomplished. Through their heroism Jews were again able to return to the Old City. As we will daven at the Kotel on Friday night, we will reflect on the battle, the 182 soldiers who gave their lives and countless others who were wounded. Because of their bravery and G-d’s miracles we can visit the Kotel.

Davening

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Each day we begin our day with a minyan in the hotel. We are joined by the hotel mashgiach and some guests. We also stop our afternoon activities to daven mincha. Thankfully with our medic and tour guide we make 10. We stopped to daven mincha by the sidewalk in front of the Dead Sea. We began with 10 men and ended with about 20. It was beautiful to see how many men stopped what they were doing and joined the minyan. What a kiddush Hashem and learning experience for our group.

 This morning we had another beautiful minyan at the hotel. Since it is Thursday and we read form the Torah, Kobi assisted in bringing back a beautiful Sepharidc sefer Torah. 

Dead Sea

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The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth. Because of the very high mineral content in the water nothing can live in the sea. But the Dead Sea is anything but dead. The high mineral content has much value to us. We tend to only think that there is salt in the Dead Sea, but there are many minerals as well such as magnesium and sulfur. The Dead Sea is actually shrinking and this is not because people are taking out the minerals to use for lotions and medicinal reasons.

The Dead Sea only takes in water from the Jordan. Due to the saturation of minerals they at time block the water and less water is making its way in. Because of the loss of water sink holes are being found around the Dead Sea. There is work underway to solve the problem.

The students enjoyed the warm weather and their visit to the Dead Sea. No pictures though!!

 

 

Masada

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After a filling lunch of a choice of sandwiches (egg, tuna or avocado) on some delicious rolls, it was our turn to conquer Masada. There are 2 ways to get up to Masada. You can go on a cable car, which takes about 5 minutes or you can walk the snake path. Our group chose the latter. We fortified ourselves with water and it was onward and upward for our group. We started off together and then some of us marched on ahead, while others did lag behind, but in the end we were all victorious.

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We must congratulate Yakov S. and Tzvi for reaching the top first. Yakov made the climb in under 30 minutes and looked as if he had taken a stroll in the park when done. Tzvi literally ran up Masada at the end. We do not know how he did that!! You can see our order when you look at the photos. The top ten indicated their order using their fingers and the rest have little slips of paper. We would like to commend the following students who came up a little later than they should have because they stopped to assist and encourage their friends: Eyal, Mushka and Sima. Good job to you. We all made it and have much to be proud of.

Masada is a tall mountain in the desert upon which King Herod, a Roman appointed king over Israel, had a fortress built. Herod was a madman and under his reign many Jewish rabbis were killed. His mother was not Jewish and his father was a convert who had been forced to convert under the Chashmonaim rule. (That is a story for another time). Herod liked to build and his motto was the bigger the better. His desert fortress came complete with 2 palaces with food. If you would visit Masada in ancient times you would have found lots of grain, dried fruit, oil, honey and wine (some of which was imported from Italy by Herod) In addition there was lots of water, a huge necessity in the desert as Ein Gedi a natural water resource is a 2-3 hour walk.  Masada had 23 regular cisterns filled and a large cistern that had enough water to last a year. When we say it was big, it was big. Masada also had green fields for growing things. We know this because there are at least 3 columbariums or dovecotes where found. They are places were pigeons rested and their wastes were then used as fertilizer.  

Herod must have really enjoyed his amazing fortress with all of its accommodations and perks. Can’t you just see him relaxing there after a hard day at the office? Well, actually King Herod never used Masada at all. It was built as a precaution and for his own safety. Let’s just say he was not very well liked and he would be safe on this mountain top because you can see anyone who is coming for a mile away.

Fast forward to the destruction of the 2nd Temple. There were a group of about 100 Jewish Zealots who escaped Yerushalayim and knowing about Masada made their way there. They found many supplies and they could have lived there comfortably for a long time. Unfortunately to Romans found out that they were there and the Romans made their way to capture the Jews. Masada’s end as many of you know ended in tragedy, but Yoni did not focus our visit on this part of history.

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In addition to finding all of the above mentioned items another item crucial to Jewish life was found. A Mikvah!!! Not one mikvah, but at least 6 working Mikvot were found on Masada. Now, Herod did not build those. When Yigael Yadin, the archeologist who discovered the finds on Masada found the mikva, he brought in a rav for confirmation. The rav measured the mikvah and his hands began to shake for he realized that in fact this was a working mikvah. We saw the place where the rain water flowed in through a trough to fill the mikvah.

This is the take away from Masada. These mikvot were made by the Jews in order to continue Jewish life and family purity after their Holy Temple had been destroyed. As Jewish people who have been exiled and persecuted, we have grown stronger by keeping our Torah and mitzvoth alive under all sets of circumstances. These mikvot and the desire to live as a Jew are what makes the Jews who lived on Masada heroes.

Weather

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Well, we know that back home you have just had a storm and missed some school. We want to let you know that so far the weather has been fantastic. The first day was a bit on the chilly side. We were glad we listened to advice and brought jackets in addition to our sweaters.

Our second day here was a beautiful 60 degrees in the Old City. You can see in the pictures the clear blue sky. Our LYA sweatshirts actually blend in with the beautiful blue sky. Our 3rd day was a perfect weather day for the desert. While you were shoveling snow we were in 70 degree weather hiking in Ein Gedi and climbing Masada. It was a great hot day!!!

We heard tomorrow will be a bit cooler with a high of 54 degrees. 

Ein Gedi - Desert Oasis

Today’s post is brought to you by Rishi Wolvovsky.

So far, I have had a very fun and uplifting time and I learned many new things in the past three days. I have also been connecting with many of my friends.

Our first stop today was to Ein Gedi. Ein Gedi is a beautiful national park and an oasis in the desert. It holds a lot of history from Navi within it. Soon we will be learning this history in Shmuel I.

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There are many animals living in Ein Gedi. The ibex is an animal that looks sort of like a goat, with horns and male ibexes have beards. The hyrax looks like a cute little bear. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that the closest relative to the hyrax is an elephant! The hyrax is one of the animals that the Torah specifically states is not kosher. In Hebrew, the hyrax is called the shafan. Some of us actually saw the hyrax today! The last animal is a bird which is endemic to the Dead Sea area. It is called the starling. The starling is black with gold feathers. We saw many of them flying around and they were beautiful.

Shaul was told that he would be replaced with a new king, and Shaul will know this king very well. He became angry at whoever would become king. Dovid, a simple shepherd, proved his worth by killing Galyat. Dovid was becoming greater and greater, and Shaul didn’t like this. Since Dovid had no real military experience, Shaul made him a general in order to embarrass him, and maybe even cause his death. Shaul actually accomplished the exact opposite. Dovid won every single battle, and he came back with all of his men. Shaul was enraged, and wanted to kill Dovid, especially after discovering that it would be Dovid who would replace him as king.

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Dovid didn’t want to fight another Jew, especially the anointed one of Hashem, so instead of attacking Shaul, he ran away. He and his men escaped. Now Dovid had to find a safe location for his men. How could a group survive without any water? Dovid searched for a solution, and found that in the mountains of Ein Gedi was a large waterfall, which could supply the entire entourage. Eventually Shaul found Dovid in Ein Gedi. When Shaul found Dovid, Dovid and his men hid in caves. Shaul entered one of the caves that Dovid was hiding in. Dovid showed how he could’ve killed Shaul, but since he loved him, he didn’t. He had only cut off a piece of his cloak. Dovid would not kill the anointed one of Hashem.

Many of us have heard the story, but it was amazing to see the place in the mountains where Dovid hid and see the waterfall. We hiked up some of the mountain, passing by some of the passes of the waterfall. We had a great time learning the story and viewing the mountains. From the mountains, the view of the Dead Sea was also beautiful.

City of Dovid

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A highlight of any trip to Yerushalayim is the City of Dovid – where IT all began. Every stone has a story to tell, every stone is a part of our amazing history. LYA students knew the significance of Yerushalayim from their studies at school.  This trip their learning has come full circle.

The City of David is located next to the Old City and should actually be included in the walled portion. When the current wall was built in 1538 by the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (who named himself Magnificent by the way) the City of Dovid was not a very nice neighborhood. That is why it was left out of the walls. In reality though it is in the City of Dovid where IT all began.

It was Dovid who conquered the Yerushalayim from the Yevusim. Before we talk about that battle we must recognize that the Yevusim had fortified the city with walls and they were extremely confident that they would not be attacked because of their fortifications. Not only that, but the Yevusim had dug a network of tunnels that brought the water supply from the Gichon springs into a pool called the Shiloach, directly to one area for their city. In ancient times it was the young girls who would get the water for their families. The Yevusim water supply was exposed, but because the Yevusim felt secure they were not worried about their young girls going out and gathering water. We will get back to that water soon.

Now Dovid is king and he has united the nation. He now wants to conquer Yerushalayim, since he knows of its importance. The Yevusim are still in control and were very confident that they could not be conquered. They did not realize that Dovid is not your average general. Dovid knew about the water supply system and that there was a water pipe that led into the city based on the Yevusim’s water system. As it says in Shmuel II, Dovid sent his General Yoav through the sinur, water pipe and Yoav took the city, just like that!

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Now Dovid has a capital city and he of course lives in a palace. It was in the remains of this palace that we stood and saw one of the columns that archeologists had found. This column was actually Phoenician in design, which led many skeptic archeologists to suggest that this could not have been Dovid’s palace. That is because Dovid hires an outside contractor, Chiram of Sur, to build him a palace. Guess where Sur is? You guessed right, Phoenicia! It is all in the Navi!!!

As we move on in history Shlomo Dovid’s son is anointed by the Gichon Spring. Shlomo builds the Beis Hamikdash and the Jews live surrounded by its holiness. We will now move very quickly in history and fast forward to King Chizkiyahu, who was a king of the Davidic dynasty. The 10 tribes have already been exiled by the Assyrians. King Chizkiyahu, who was a good king, was worried that the Assyrians would attack the remaining 2 tribes and Yerushalayim. The city was fortified with walls, but do you remember the water from the Shiloach pool that we wrote about before? That water supply is exposed. King Chizkayahu did something amazing without modern technology. He had his men start digging tunnels under the city. Each group began on one end and chiseled through until they met each other. He then re-routed the water into these tunnels and voila water is now accessible in a safe manner. As the Navi in Melachim II tell us, the Assyrians did not conquer the city.

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These tunnels are still functioning today. They are not used for the city’s water supply, but they are part of the tour. Our next stop was into these tunnels. Sorry that we cannot show you many photos as it is pitch black in the tunnels. Good thing we were told to bring head lamps and water shoes. We splished and splashed, walked and waded, talked and sang in the tunnels. It was amazing to walk in the water tunnels that saved the city.

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We continued our tour at a site that probably was the cave in which King Dovid was buried. There Morah K talked to us about the power of Tehilim, the book that Dovid wrote. We all said a chapter in honor of our trip. We also learned about other amazing finds in the City of Dovid, such as clay stamps with names of men from Navi on them.

It was amazing to be at the City of Dovid where IT all began and to make our mark there as our story continues.

The Old City

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We begin each day with a daily news message just like at school. Each day another student volunteers to read and lead us the travel prayer. Today we spent the entire day in the Old City and the City of David. We did a lot of walking !!!

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We began our visit by walking through the Zion Gate. This gate leads into the Armenian Quarter. The gate has many bullet holes from the War of Independence in 1948. After a bit of a walk we came to the “mall” of Ancient Jerusalem, the Cardo. Cardo is what the Romans called north-south streets and it is also the heart of the city. The Cardo was a main street that was filled with many shops and vendors selling their wares. There are pillars that remain today from the Cardo. When you look at it you can visualize how the street would have been set up.

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Near the Cardo is the famous Hurva Synagogue. Thanks to our Zekeleman standard Chumash work we knew that the shoresh of Hurva means destroy. This shul today is a beautifully new shul that used to be a hollowed out place with a remnant of an arch.

The shul was named Hurva for the first time it was destroyed. The shul was originally built by Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid, who had taken out loans to build the shul. He defaulted on his loans and the owners destroyed the shul as a result, hence the name Hurva stuck. The shul was re-built, but it was destroyed in 1948 by the Jordanians. A few years ago the Hurva was rebuilt in all of its beauty and today it is a thriving shul.

In front of the Hurva is a beautiful open plaza. As we sat in the plaza we watched many people walking, children playing and elderly people sitting on benches. It is interesting to see a huge plaza not developed in the Old City, a place where property values are very high and space is in high demand. Yoni told us that this plaza is actually a prophecy of coming true. The prophecy was given by Yirmiyahu after the destruction of the Temple and said that we will come back to the land and children will play and old people will sit.  Our group was very exciting to see the prophecy come to life before our eyes.

Street Signs

 There is so much to learn in Israel. A whole tour can be made just by looking at the street signs in Israel. There is so much history that can be learned. On our way out of the hotel Yoni started to mention the different street signs we were passing. Our hotel is on King George Street. The rechov, street was named after King George V under the British mandate when they had control over Israel for 30 years.  This was one of the streets that the British made in Yerushalayim.

We turned onto Rechov Besalel, which was very timely for us. Besalel is the man who was in charge of building the Mishkan. That street meant much to our students since currently they are learning about the building of the Mishkan in Chumash.

We rode on Rechov Chevron toward the Old City. Guess what? This street is a street one takes to get to Chevron. We passed by Rechov Ramban and later on that day we heard a fascinating story of a debate that the Ramban, Nachmonides had in Aragon, Spain with members of the Church. Even though he won, Ramban had to leave Spain after the debate and emigrated to Acco in Israel. He also established a shul in the Old City.

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We found Rechov Chabad in the Old City. This street is right near the Tzemach Tzedek Shul.  For the remainder of our time in Israel we will be looking for more interesting street signs.

Shiloh - the 1st Capital of Israel

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There is so much to write about Shiloh. We began our visit with a delicious lunch of shawarma. It was enjoyed by many. We had a beautiful benching led by Aiden.

Shiloh was the capital city of Israel for 369 years from when Yehoshua brought the 12 tribes into the land. The reason for this is that the Mishkan resided in Shiloh and because of this it was a very important city for the Jews. Men, women and children would go visit the Mishkan three times a year on Pesach, Shavuos and Sukkos.

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As Shiloh became an important city it needed something very important to cities – WATER!!! We saw a man made pool that was made out of lime stone that was dried out and when it rained a pool appeared to give the people water. The pool was filled today as we viewed it.

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In addition to water, we visited an ancient wine press and saw how the people would crush grapes with their bare feet. Yosef knew the answer why. If one crushed grapes with their shoes they might break the seeds and that would make the wine bitter. We clearly saw how the juice would flow from the crushing area into a holding area for the wine. This press was over 2,000 years old. It can be identified by the mosaic tiles in the pressing area. Miss Kosofsky told us how she assisted her father, Rabbi Kosofsky make wine this year and how modern methods might have changed the crushing, but the process is the same.

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We then visited a building built during the Byzantine Era that was used as a church, but now houses a beautiful model of the Mishkan. It was very meaningful to see the model because we are now studying the building of the Mishkan in Chumash. As we entered Yoni asked us to look around and see what we see in the building that we would not think would be seen in a Byzantine building. Eyal figured it out before we even entered and said that he thinks it will be a Magen Dovid. He was correct as there was a beautiful mosaic picture of a Magen Dovid.

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In Shiloh there is also an ancient olive press. Yoni taught us about extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil. It was amazing to see an olive oil press that could actually work. Olive oil was very important for the Mishkan since the Kohanim needed oil for so much of the work in the Mishkan. The olive press was made of lime stone. We learned that lime stone is very soft while connected to the mountain, so it is easy to cut it into form. Once it is formed it hardens and can last forever as we saw today.

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Before we entered a movie theater in Shiloh, we met a Chai Lifeline group visiting Israel. In their group we met Sara Yafa Ross, who is not only a niece of Mrs. Edelman, but she used to live in Springfield. Sara Yafa was with her daughter, Rivka Bracha, who was 1 years old when she lived in Springfield. Mrs. Ross told Sara that she has a picture of her daughter and Sara in clown costumes.

We saw a beautiful video of the history of Shiloh and then it was down to the resting place of the Mishkan. We know it is cold back at home, but it was cold for us as we sat in the same place that Chana davened for Shmuel over 3,000 years ago. We now appreciate that the 3 pilgrimage holidays are not in the winter.

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It was very meaningful for us to daven mincha there. Thanks to our tour guide and medic, we had a beautiful minyan. It was onto the bus for a rather long ride to the hotel and dinner. Many of us fell asleep. We were very tired.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!!!

Arrival in the Holy Land

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It was smooth sailing at the airport. We all davened shacharit on the plane. Good job to the boys who navigated tefilin and davening while in motion. As we landed (as you can see) Emunah and Rochel Leah tightly held hands in anticipation of the arrival in Israel.

We are so proud of our school. They are listening to directions and making a great Kiddush Hashem by being good ambassadors for our school. At the airport we were met by Mickey Katzburg, who owns the tour agency My Israel Connection and he has been assisting LYA with Israel trips for the last 10 trips. LYA presented Mickey with a book of pictures from the last 10 trips.

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Our tour guide Yoni led us out of the airport. We were in and out in an hour. Record time to depart the airplane, go through customs and retrieve our luggage.

After a brief snack, we boarded the bus to Shiloh. On the way Yoni encouraged us to look out the windows. He told us of a famous Rav Avrohom Dov from Avrutch, Ukraine called the Bat Ayin, who travelled all the way to Israel by boat which took a while. Once he arrived in Yafo there was a carriage waiting for him. His students closed the shades so their Rav could rest from the strenuous journey. He told them to open the shades so he could enjoy the land of which it says.

תמיד עיני ה' בה מראשית השנה ועד אחרית השנה עקב

“Hashem’s eyes are always on the land from the beginning of the year until the end of the year”.  This is also a quote that the Rebbe would often use to describe Israel.

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We learned much from looking out the windows. First off we saw loads of building going on. That is the norm in Israel. To put it in perspective there were 660,000 Jews living in Israel in 1948. Now in 2019 there are 6,000,000 – 7,000, 000. That requires lots of housing. In the next 50 years these new buildings will be considered old.

In the book of Kings (the 8th grade students learned this last year in Navi), there is a king named Omri who built up the city of Shomron. Now Shomron was used for idol worship and even though it was not used for great things, Omri was destined to have a dynasty of 4 kings from his family. Building in Israel is amazing and imagine what his reward would have been if Omri built for good things.

We also enjoyed looking at olive trees that are growing all over the roads. Yoni told us that Israel is known for its quality olive oil. We also talked about terrace irrigation. You can see walls that have been flattened into the mountains creating terraces. These terraces allow for better watering of the olive trees. This is the oldest known irrigation system in the world. In the Mishna it speaks of watering ones garden with a foot. Now that seems quite a feat. With terrace irrigation one can stop the flow of water by moving a rock in place with one’s foot and stop the water or allow the water to flow. Amazing to see the words of Mishna are as applicable today as they were over 2,000 years ago.

 

On Our Way

 As we write this entry we are now on the plane and on our way. Amazing wonders we have wifi so you are reading about our trip in real time. We began our trip at the Ohel. We wrote a letter that was read at the Ohel. The letter included good wishes for our trip. Before we left each student took upon themselves an extra mitzvah to be completed in Israel with the hope of continuing after we return. These mitzvot were included in our letter.

 After the Ohel, we walked over to Rabbi Dovid Edelman’s obm grave. Before reciting chapter 121 of tehilim, Rabbi Kosofsky spoke to the students about how Rabbi Edelman loved each one of them and how much he enjoyed talking with them about what they learned. Morah Kosofsky reflected upon how Rabbi Edelman was so proud to hear about the trips when the students returned. She mentioned how this trip was the school’s 11th trip and with the exception of 1 trip there has always been an Edelman grandchild attending either as a student or a chaperone.

 We had an easy check in at the airport. While awaiting boarding we met Rishi’s uncle, Rabbi Zalman Gopin from Kfar Chabad. Of course many people commented on our well behaved group and how special it is to see a school group going to Israel. On the plane we met a family that knows the Philips from Worcester. Small world.

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 We sang happy birthday to Mushka and the flight attendant brought her a sorbet as a birthday treat. Students were a little disappointed that Morah K said no caffeine drinks. We are planning on sleeping at some point on the trip.

Next stop… Tel Aviv airport. We will speak to you soon.

Meet Yoni Berg

 

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 I was born in Staten Island, NY and lived there until I was 14, while I attended the Yeshiva of Flatbush. I continued at YoF while I moved to Long Island. After high school, I learned at Yeshivat HaKotel (now Netiv Aryeh) for a year and a half. I majored in English literature at Queens College until I made Aliya. I've been living in Israel for 15 years, during which time I've served in the IDF as a map technician in the artillery corps, met and married the love of my life, and have 3 beautiful daughters. I've been guiding groups for about 15 years and plan on continuing for as long as I'm able. I am looking forward to working with LYA again.  See you next week.

Going to Israel in Style

 We will be going to Israel with our brand new Israel Experience sweatshirts jackets. LYA thanks Bolducs for doing a great job. We love them!!!

 

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