We all got a well needed rest of body and spirit on Shabbat.
We began Shabbat with a Kabbalat Shabbat for the entire group. It was a chance to share our thoughts and feelings about this past week and sing some of the songs of Kabbalat Shabbat together. Then some students chose to attend either Orthodox or Reform services. Both were being held in our hotel. We had a wonderful dinner in our hotel dining room, followed by some games together. Then it was off for an early bedtime and best of all, no wake up time on Shabbat morning.
Shabbat morning, students looked well rested attended either an Orthodox service, a discussion about the week's Torah portion, guided meditation or yoga. We had another delicious lunch together.
In the afternoon we heard from Issam Sa'ad. He is a Palestinian and grew up in the Gaza Strip. He does peace work bringing Palestinian and Israeli teens together in a week long summer camp. His story is fascinating and I will be happy to share it with those who are interested, when I return. We spent the rest of the day on the beach and had a seudat shlishi picnic. We ended Shabbat with Havdalah and then students went off for time with israeli family and friends. Those who didn't have visitors went to Jaffa for dinner.
Today we spent our last morning in Tel Aviv and met with a representative from Aleph, an Israeli venture capital firm. She explained the dynamic Israeli hi-tech/entrepreneurial economy. Then we headed south to the Gaza border where we learned about the security situation and grappled with the moral issues Israel faces in defending the country.
We ended our day with dinner in Be'er Sheva and will spend the next two nights in the Negev staying at Kibbutz Kramim.
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