Shira’s Rosh Hashanah

Shira Feen

Sep 27
We have just ended Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, at Kibbutz Shaalvim. It was an amazing three days. 
The days leading up to the holiday were also incredible, since the whole country was preparing for the event. When I bought something at a gas station, or a restaurant, the cashier always made sure to wish me a happy new year. Tuesday, the day before the holiday, people were selling flowers on the streets in preparation for the big day. A siren sounded throughout the country to signal the start of the holiday. It was fun taking a walk on the holiday and seeing cows, donkeys, and horses. 
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to hear from Racheli Frenkel, mother of Naftali Frenkel. Her son was one of the 3 teenagers who was kidnapped and killed this summer in Israel. She started off with thanking us for all of the worldwide support she received. She went on to say how the whole nation was there for her and the other two boys families.  From neighbors and family friends to the bus drivers, everyone was there for them in their time in need. Her message to us was that she doesn’t know G-d’s plan, but that this summer, the Jewish nation came together. We were able to see so clearly that we are always here for each other no matter where we are on the religious spectrum. 
One thing that’s hard to get used to is that Sunday is a school day here. We have off on Friday but having to go back to school on Sunday is quite an adjustment. The bus system has also taken some getting used to. I’ve basically had to run to catch every bus I’ve taken, but I must say I’m getting quite good.
One of the best parts about living here is the beauty of the country. Everywhere I’ve gone, the architecture, the landscapes, just about everything is stunning. Last week I went to Old train station, which has been turned into little restaurants and shops. The country has so much culture. I also visited the shuk, the famous outdoor market in Jerusalem, last week. They have everything, from dried fruit and fresh fish, to sweet candy and rich spices. I also saw beautiful necklaces and tried Israeli iced coffee. It was a very cool experience, seeing people bargain down prices, nearly being squished by the crowd.  However, the best part, would have to be all the different cultural smells. 
Shana Tova,