On Tuesday, I woke up and went to the minyan down the street at Yeshurun, where I had davened every Friday last year, and then came back to the hotel, where we began to check out for a few days and begin our grand tour of every university in
On Wednesday, after a great breakfast (the food at the Tel Aviv hotel was much better than in
On Thursday morning, I davened, had a pretty good breakfast, and checked out as our group said goodbye to TA and started the two hour drive to the development town of Arad, near the Dead Sea, where we visited the WUJS program, a 5 month Israel experience for college graduates. We saw a bit of the town, saw the absorption center where the participants live, and were treated to a pizza lunch. After we left
After we left Be’er Sheva, we returned to
On Friday, I went back to Yeshurun for shacharit, and then relaxed until everyone else woke up for breakfast. We had a couple wrap up sessions that morning, including one with a representative from the sochnut and some lone soldiers to talk about the army. We were free for a few hours before Shabbat, and I went with my friend Andrew to walk around the shuk and then get a shawarma (my 4th!) at Maoz. After showering and preparing for Shabbat, I walked over (in relatively steady rain) to Yeshurun, for their monthly Carlebach-style kabbalat Shabbat with cantor and choir. It was just as nice as I remembered it from when I used to go on Nativ. That evening, we ate Shabbat dinner at Beit Nativ (aka the Fuchsburg center), which brought back nice memories but the food was as relatively unappealing as ever. When we got back to the hotel, we hung out and then had an oneg before I went to bed around ten in order to get some nice Shabbat rest.
The next morning, I left the hotel around and walked all the way doen to Baka to my favorite shul in
We went back to the hotel for a not so tasty lunch, but one that ended with some nice singing. I took a nap and read for a while, but late in the afternoon I got a knock on my door from my friend Shayna and my new friend Shira, who asked me go walk with them to the old city. I decided to go, and had a great time with them. We ended up at the kotel, which I rarely get to on Shabbat, and which was nice to see being so much emptier and less touristy. I found a minyan for mincha, which was sefardi, and it was neat to daven in a setting that is slightly different than usual, with such changes as habah being done before the torah reading. We walked back to the hotel as the sun was starting to set. Before we knew it, Shabbat was over, and I davened Ma’ariv and we did Havdalah as a group. I then ran upstairs, packed my stuff, and said goodbye to all of my travelmates/friends, new and old.