Shalom from Tzfat, Israel! This morning, after a delicious breakfast of fresh veggies, eggs, pancakes, and more, we headed over to Mount Meron. Our adventure included a walk along the Peak Path, where we admired the incredible view of the Upper Galilee, and posed for lots of photos!
Next, we drove over to Tzfat, a center of Jewish mysticism, where Phil, our amazing Israeli tour guide, discussed the different “levels” of Judaism, and the interplay of ethics and religious tradition. We visited an Ashkenazi temple and learned about the history and meaning of this temple (as well as the Sephardic one beside it). Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch at one of the cafes along a street in Tzfat. I got a schwarma laffa… It was delicious!
Once we finished lunch, we headed to the Tzfat Fortress for my favorite activity today: a community service project with Livnot Ulehibanot (To Build and be Built). We all worked together to construct a wall of rocks, which will be part of a large community park. We all pitched in to dig, mix, lay, and construct the wall. Two hours later, after lots of laughs and great teamwork, we settled on the grass to talk about environmental issues and how we can contribute to the Jewish community. The event organizer used the metaphor of “a rock in a wall” to discuss our involvement in the Jewish community, and how we can continue to volunteer and give “Tzedakah” after our Birthright trip.
From the community park, we walked over to the nearby artists’ district, where vendors sold various paintings, Judaica, clothing, a wide assortment of jewelry, and much more. We all rushed from vendor to vendor, hoping to find the perfect gift for Mom, Dad, siblings, and friends! I would tell you what I bought for my family, but I want to surprise them! =)
After finishing the day in Tzfat, we headed back to the hotel to relax and have dinner. Then, we headed out for a night on the town in Tiberias. It’s been a great day here in Israel… We’re having a blast and thinking of everyone back home!