JOLT Israel
NCSY JOLT Israel!!! Absolutely Awesome Fulfilling Day!
Dear Heilige Parents and NCSY JOLT Israel'ers, I hope this email finds you all well. Today was yet another winner! It was truly non-stop awesomeness. Today was a day dedicated to the parts of Israel people are often times to afraid to go to. Places like Chevron, Kever Rachel and the Gush are areas that we read about and often times allow the media to completely taint the way we understand facts on the ground. One of the things I spoke with the kids about today was the importance of holding on to certain values. The value of Eretz Yisrael is something that we can not take for granted. By visiting these places we make a statement that this is our history, our land, and our right!  In my eyes that is true leadership.  We obviously took appropriate precautions such as an extra security escort with an M-16 as well as a bullet proof bus. After davening and breakfast we loaded our bus and started our journey to Chevron. There is something magical that I experience when driving through the hillsides. The orange-brown dirt contrasted by the green vegetation on the terraced mountains makes one feel like they are riding back in time. We finally made our way to Kiryat Arba and then throughout he winding roads of Chevron until we got to the Ma'aras HaMachpeilah. We spoke to   the kids for a few minutes on the grass outside and then brought them in so as to give them a few minutes to daven at the grave sites of our holy great grandparents. After a few meaningful and powerful minutes we brought the kids out gain so that they can hear a few words about the current community and the challenges it faces. It was an excellent discussion and we each learned a ton. From the Ma'arah we went straight to eat lunch in a park in the Gush called Oz V'Gaon in memory of the three boys who were kidnapped and killed. After lunch we took tool and split into groups and volunteered a bit over an hour to help clean up a certain area of the park so that they can plant flowers and trees there. It was awesome. After that we went to the new museum in Kfar Etzion which told the story of the Jewish struggle for the Gush. It was excellent! WE drove a few minutes after that to the Lone Oak tree. It was this very tree that the residents of the Gush looked at when they were separated for those years until 1967. I spoke to the kids a bit about being a part of the destiny of the Jewish people. From there we traveled to Mama Rochel to dave a bit at Kever Rachel. It was a very spiritual experience for many of us. We came back, ate supper, then broke into learning groups and had some chill time. I put the kids to sleep early tonight because we have a very early morning tomorrow. We are dong a great hike and I need them well rested and up for the challenges of the day. Looking forward to speaking with you tomorrow. With warmest wishes -Rabbi Weinberg
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