My First Week in Israel: wow

I am currently writing this Saturday morning which is the sabbath day of rest. I am sitting out on the balcony in the sun with my coffee and peanut butter toast listening to the apartments across from me come alive. When Jono and I arrived in Israel we got a big hug by two strangers I had never met- such is israeli friendliness. For the first few days in Israel Jono and I stayed with those strangers who were of course his Israeli family. They brought us back to stay in their moms house outside of Tel Aviv. We had a great time at the beach, talking, eating local food (of course), and even making a song with Jono’s cousin who is a talented Jazz guitarist.

On Monday, we met up with the Aardvark program people and moved to Jerusalem to settle into our apartments. We are centrally located in nachlaot- a 5 minute walk from machne yehuda market. I live with 3 other boys, only one of whom knows how to cook… we have lots of learning to do about living on our own in addition to living in a foreign country. The past few days have been orientation; we’ve done explorations of the shuk; in the day when the vendors and commotion are exciting and in the night when the nightlife and music gives the place a wholly different face. For two days we took a trip to the north where we hiked and got to know to each other.

Back in Jerusalem for the Shabbas, we went to the western wall and prayed- a moving experience full of song, dance, and spiritual energy. The collective passion and prayer creates a power in the air unlike any other. The western wall is the holiest spot for the Jews because it is the closest place we can get to the holy of Holies- the rock upon the Temple once stood. This rock is the rock from which we believe the earth was created. I pressed myself against the wall and spent a moment feeling the connection between body and spirit.

Next week, we start classes and internships- so much excitement and new experiences await. Stay Tuned!