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Day Six - Tel Aviv

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 11:37 am
Posted by Rabbi Moshe Gray

Hilary Hamm

If other Birthright groups were to hear about my 12-hour hibernation last night, they would certainly be jealous. However, these hours were much needed after my all-nighter in the middle of the Negev. Next time I spend all night writing a 20 page research paper over improvements in Indian crop storage, I will be thankful that I am not sharing a 40 person tent during a rapidly spreading epidemic instead.

            Needless to say, I was in a great mood after my luxurious slumber. We started off the day by heading from Netanya to Old Jaffa. Ronen gave us a brief tour of the area while the tsunami like storm that my mom had warned me about rained down upon us. Our next stop was Independence Hall in Tel-Aviv. We learned about the importance of Tel-Aviv during the creation of the Jewish state and how the beginning of Israel meant the creation of a home for displaced Jews around the world.

            Our history lesson ended, and we continued our search for Israel’s best shwarma and falafel. Unsurprisingly, Tel-Aviv’s delicacies exceeded my expectations. One of the best parts of my lunch was my conversation with two of our Israeli soldiers, Amitai and Sagi. I’m constantly amazed at the similarities we share (like our love for music festivals or our confusion over Miley Cyrus’s transformation), and even more amazed at how much their presence has enhanced my experience on the trip.

            Although the trip has had its rough points (cough cough “the plague”), I’ve learned more in these 10 days than I learned during 10 weeks in some courses….. sorry to throw you under the bus Socy 1. Whether it was talking to the soldiers about life in service, overhearing a debate on the value of bar and bat-mitzvahs, discovering the bravery of Jews atop Masada, or contemplating my own place within Judaism, I will certainly have a lot of great memories to reflect upon when I return home.

            Right now we are on our bus ride to Jerusalem, and I am buzzing with excitement. More to come soon from the Holy Land!


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