[Tour of Israel Day 2] Tunneling Through Ancient Cities

Wednesday, June 7 (יום רביעי, 13 סיון)

Seth’s alarm blared at 06:30, but I rose to my own alarm at 06:45. Equipping the red TI shirt and khakis, we went to the Lobby and had breakfast in the dining hall together. I had Israeli salad with hummus, a croissant, juice, and plain yogurt — the latter was not to my liking. I will omit the rest of the prelim details, since the day was a really long one!

We headed on the bus (except for one hold-out from illness), and took off at 08:15. We’re going to the Old City again! Gili repeated his stories about הר הזיתים (Mt. of Olives), and the valleys,, and without a פקק this morning, it was a quick arrival at עיר דוד (City of David). At the gate, there was a harp motif, as well as the name… in ANCIENT Hebrew! There, the daleths were like deltas, and other letters didn’t resemble modern Hebrew at all! Nevertheless, it was exciting to read.

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[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 11 of 11] Shorashim

In the midst of the heat wave, we spent the שבת (Shabbat) on קיבוץ אלמוג (Kibbutz Almog). The day was relaxing, yet it was mentally taxing due to (a) the heat, and the inability to go in the pool, (b) the sadness of leaving shortly after sundown.

You can read the original post by clicking on this paragraph.

The name of our Birthright trip organizer, שורשים (Shorashim) means “roots” in Hebrew. Therefore, I would like to reflect on that both from the Birthright trip, as well as what is happening right now–there is a link in a way!

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[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 9 of 11] Music in Israel

28 July 2011. We woke up around 03:45, were on the bus at 04:29, hiked Masada, I fell on the way down, and missed the Dead Sea.

I could give a five-years-later reflection on the first six hours of my waking on this day, but I feel like that would be blogging. about. flogging. a. dead. horse.

Another major aspect of the day was music, and I feel that it was seriously underrated in my original account of the day. In fact, the musical aspect of the day may have been one of the greater legacies that remains today! So, let’s talk about it. And then, at the end of the post, I’ll give some of my favorite photos from the day.

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[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 7 of 11] Sinat Chinam (and Ahavat Chinam)

Five years ago, we went to תל אביב for an Israeli resources fair (an unexpected itinerary change), went to the שוק (market), and also יד ושם (the Holocaust memorial). The original journal entry is clickable: this sentence.


As I mentioned yesterday, today’s blog post will be a bit of a heavy topic: שנאת חינם (sinat chinam: baseless hatred). Unfortunately, it seemed that the Holocaust (and World War II for that matter) was grounded in baseless hatred. Thus, I want to reflect on it, as well as thinking about what I saw in the museum five years ago.

A look at the exterior of the Yad Vashem museum.

A look at the exterior of the Yad Vashem museum.

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[Taglit 5-Year Retrospective-part 5 of 11] Awwwwwesome

Today’s blog post reflects on the Sunday of the Birthright trip in 2011, when we went to צפת (Safed) and תל אביב (Tel Aviv). Click on this sentence to see the original entry.


When I look back on the Sunday of the trip, I can summarize it in three independent words:

  • Art
  • Awesome
  • History

And I will briefly reflect on what each of them mean to me five years later.

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