JOLT Israel
Day #2…Awesome!!

Good Evening NCSY JOLT Israel Family!!!

We had an absolutely amazing day! The kids woke up on time, everyone was where they needed to be and davening this morning was smooth and sweet. We are blessed to have four Kohanim so we have a nice vibrant Birchas Kohanim each morning. From davening we went to breakfast where we had fresh made pancakes, egg omelets, hard boiled eggs, many different salads, cereal and some other stuff. Bottom line we ate well! From breakfast we actually went to an extraordinarily well done audio/visual presentation in Kfar Etzion telling the story of those brave young men and women who fought for the sovereignty of the Jewish people in Gush Etzion. It was engaging and moving and the kids really gained a tremendous amount from it.  fact a lot of what we did today was appreciate where we are in Israel. Most groups don't have the Zechus to spend real time in this area and we are truly blessed. I don't want the value and importance of this place to get lost on the kids. 

After leaving there we took a short drive to an overlook to see the monument of the 35. I am not going to go into the whole story but please make sure to ask your kids to relay the story to you. It is truly deep and tells the story of Gevurah on so many levels! We then had the opportunity to walk the Derech HaAvot and see a Mikvah from the time of the Beis HaMikdash. We also saw a legit milestone. Actually a stone placed strategically to tell ancient travels how far they actually traveled. We ended the walk at the famous Alon HaBoded/the lone tree. One of the more Chazak places in Israel (at least for me). It tells the story of the destiny of the Jewish people and this was a theme that I spoke about with the kids. The importance and the value that we need to place on making sure the decisions we make are those that will allow us to make a mark in this world and impact the destiny of the Jewish people. That my friends is Jewish leadership in a nutshell.  

For lunch we had an option of a shnitzle or Kabobs that were brought to us. Each one came with roasted potatoes and string beans.It was delicious. Well cooked, well flavored and filling. It was definitely not a strategic time for me to start my diet....

After leaving the Alon HaBoded we drove to Alon Shvut where we did something amazing. It was actually the first time for me as well. We went to a place called PAt BaMelach. It is actually a bakery where the owner gives classes on how to bake, specifically with a sour dough. We learned about the process and his story and then got to make our own delicious hot pretzels. We learned, ate, and then davened Mincha. From there we drove into Jerusalem and the kids had some free time in the Shuk. It was just a great experience to see our holy Jewish brothers and sisters hustling and bustling in preparation for Shabbos. It's such a beautiful sight. 

We drove back to Kfar Etzion and came just in time for dinner :-) Chicken, Shnitzle, rice, salads....Lots of good stuff. The kids had some time to veg out and we rejoined for Maariv at 9:30 followed by learning groups.

Overall today was absolutely awesome. The kids are starting to bond together as a group. I just love watching them make new friendships. We are starting to have our own jokes, personalities and flavor. Today was nonstop with some many different experiences and messages that the kids were exposed to.  But don't take my word for it, ask your children. Also, follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see pictures of happy kids, smiling and loving the wholesomeness of JOLT Israel! 

Have an amazing evening and I hope to write to you tomorrow before Shabbos.

With warmest wishes and love from the holiest place on earth.

-Rabbi Weinberg

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