Our second Shabbat of the Summer Session was unique and special for the NFTY-EIE High School in Israel participants. After a full week of Hebrew and Jewish History classes, a walk through the City of David and the “Babylonian Bash,” where all the students were instructed to arrive to class dressed as ancient Babylonians, we were all ready for a restful Shabbat.
Friday morning we took everyone to Jerusalem for a Tzedakah project. The EIE students prepared packages of food to be given out for Shabbat. Everyone commended their work ethic. After some prep-time on Kibbutz Tzuba, we traveled down to the Tel Aviv’s old port, now a boardwalk lined with restaurants and shops. Here we joined about two hundred Israelis and tourists in a very special Kabbalat Shabbat. This beach front Tfillah, which is held every Erev Shabbat during the months of July and August, is run by Bet Tfilah Yisraeli, a growing Israeli liberal Jewish community that has integrated modern Israeli music and poetry into the traditional service. We all sang and prayed to the sound of the waves against the breakwater as the sun was setting.
The remainder of Shabbat was a very restful day of Tfillah, learning and pool time. The rest was much needed as we headed into another busy week that included beginning to study the Second Temple period; leaving Tzuba for some exciting Tiyulim (field trips) including trips to Masada, the Dead Sea, a Bedouin experience and snorkeling in the Red Sea at Eilat. There is never a dull moment on NFTY-EIE!