Shabbat morning, we also davened as a group, which was pretty nice to be able to pull off, and I read an Aliyah and recited birkat hachodesh. Musaf ended with a bang as Josh, Shosh and Phil led Anim Zemirot to the traditional ECRUSY nigun. Lunch was a pretty quiet affair, as Abbie and I ate at our kibbutz family’s home with one of their sons. We finished around , and I had a good five hours to relax and read a bit. Over the past few months, I’ve been reading many of the various Parashat Hashavua fliers that are distributed in Israeli shuls (such as on Kibbutz), and this Shabbat I got through all of them, which gave me some Hebrew practice as well as some food for thought. The day ended with Mincha, a discussion about issues facing Iisrael led by Nahum, Seudah Shlishit in the Chadar Ochel with zemirot, and finally, Maariv and Havdalah.
Sunday began as a normal working day, and we did some random irrigation work in the fields near
One of the most important and amazing elements of Yom Hashoah in
Programming the next day began with Shacharit, which Josh and I led most of without a melody, as per the custom I had learned when I was back at Schechter in Philadephia. I also got to read torah, and recited the special El Maleh Rachamim in memory of Holocaust victims.
We then moved into one of the Moadonim for the day’s programming, which was planned by some of the Nativers and turned out quite well. They began by reading different stories of righteous gentiles, some of whom I had heard of, and others that were new stories for me. We then had some people tell their own families’ Holocaust stories, many of which were very sad and moving. A little before 10 AM, we went outside and stood in respect as a siren wailed for two minutes, as it did throughout the entire country. It was a very emotional moment as an entire country stopped what they were doing, no matter where they were (even in the middle of the highway) and remembered the tragedy of the Shoah.
To hear a live recordingt of the Yom Hashoah siren, click here.
We continued the programming by seeing a recent film based on the story a Jewish boy from
After a pretty delicious lunch of tongue and schnitzel, we had a short wrap up for the day, and had the rest of the afternoon to relax. We again had an early dinner, and around 6 left for the short 20 minute ride to Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, located south of
To hear a recording of this Hatikvah, click here.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were relatively normal workdays, with a few small exceptions. Our boss, Hanan, realized that my friend David knows how to drive stick shift, and on Tuesday and Wednesday, he got to drive the pipes (and us) around the field in a tractor, which made our work much more efficient.
On Tuesday afternoon, our staff organized an outing and barbecue for us at Nitzanim beach, located on the coast between
Finally, Wednesday and Thursday were Rosh Hodesh Iyyar, and as usual the Kibbutz Beit Knesset didn’t disappoint us in its ability to finish the entire Shacharit service, including Hallel and Mussaf, in 45 minutes! Hodesh Tov!