Saturday, January 7, 2012

It is all good in the Kibbutz!

     I can only imagine what we looked like as we stepped off the plane after close to twenty hours of traveling. Seven Israeli soldiers greeted us at the airport dancing and singing and carrying balloons, but the forty of us were too tired to dance along with them. Since then, though, we’ve been on the move and going at a hundred miles per hour every day guided by our tour guide Dikla, our leaders Sam and Alyza and our bus driver, Chaim. So far, we’ve been to the old city in Jerusalem, the city of Tzvat, the Golan heights, and Kibbutz Chukuk, where we have been staying for the past two nights. 

     This weekend was very relaxing and peaceful. I had no idea what to expect when I read that we would be staying on a Kibbutz. I thought there would be animals roaming around and we would be staying in cabins, like on a camping trip. While my general idea was right (some kibbutzim have livestock and this one has lots of dogs and cats), I’ve learned that the idea of a kibbutz is more about community and sharing. We had a full Kibbutz experience as we stayed here for our first Shabbat in Israel. We had a Kabbalat Shabbat service last night and Havdalah tonight and in between we slept in (yeah!), played soccer, and listened to a few of our group mates play the guitar. Every day we do lots of activities and today we did one of the most interesting activities thus far. We got into groups and discussed topics related to the torah portion of this week, such as what it means to be Jewish in Israel versus in the U.S., how we identify as Jewish in our daily lives, and how our lives have changed now that we’ve been to Israel.  It may not seem that exciting on paper, but it was one of the most interesting conversations I’ve had in a long time. 

     A few of my friends who have gone on birthright came home and said they felt more connected to their Jewish identities. I thought this sounded a bit corny at the time, but I can definitely tell how the trip has and will change my Jewish life at home. While I probably (ok, definitely) won’t become any more religious, I can say that I will think more about Israel and my connection to Israel. Tomorrow we are off to Haifa and Tel Aviv. For all of the parents who are reading this just to see if their kids are alive and having fun: the answer is yes! You can look forward to another blog in the coming days. Shalom!     
Lauren Witte ‘14

No comments:

Post a Comment