Hi! I’m Shira Feen from Saint Louis. I graduated from Block Yeshiva High School this past May, and just two days ago I arrived in Israel for a gap year. While here, I hope to learn about my history and to tour the country. I hope to update you and let you in on my experience.
I’ll start off with day one! I took a direct flight from Toronto to Israel. The school that I am going to, Sha’alvim for Women, picked my group up and took us to the Kotel – the western wall. There were so many types of people at the Kotel, it was an amazing site to see.
One of the most moving sites was the Israeli soldiers praying at the Kotel. To see that these soldiers we keep hearing about on the news are just like us. They come to the holy sites, they pray, they’re regular 18 year olds, yet they spend their lives, focused on protecting us.
After seeing the Kotel, we headed back to where we would be living for the year, Malcha, Jerulaem. Every time I look out the window I am overwhelmed with the beauty of the country.
Day two was mostly orientation seeing the area I was living in, and learning the bus system ( there’s an amazing app called moovit which helps with the bus system!)
Day three we went on a “field trip,” in Israel they are called tiyulim, to Derech Avot and Kever Rachel. Derech Avot, is the path that our patriarchs walked on when coming to the land of Israel, hundreds of years ago. Kever Rachel is the grave of our patriarch mother, Rachel. Being so close to our Jewish history was a remarkable experience. We also had the experience of hearing the stories of the gush settlements and how much effort and pain went into them, and how much history they truly have.