Israel ID
NCSY Israel ID Shabbos 2 & Tisha Ba’av

I simply cannot put into words how inspired I was by your children over this weekend. It began with Shabbos. We escorted shabbos in by singing Kabbalat Shabbat outside as the sun set. The skyline was magnificent. We then had a delicious dinner joined with one of the TJJ buses and had a little bit of a singing competition in the dinning room. After we ate and of course said Birkat Hamazon, we chilled and hung out in the beautiful area around Neta. Shabbos day we had a beautiful davening followed by kiddish. We all hung out in a classroom and played telephone and broken telephone. Then we started this awesome game called ‘freeze and justify’. The game is basically a way to test ones creativity. Two or three players are chosen to be the ‘actors’ and there is one player watching who calls out ‘freeze’, in which case everyone acting must stop what they are doing, and the other player says ‘justify’ and choses a name of a person to change the entire scene based on the position they are frozen in. The game really allowed some hidden talents to surface, it was incredibly entertaining and creative. After lunch and family groups we rested up until learning. Then we were able to pick a sefer of our interest and learn it with whoever we wanted. It is such a great time to explore areas of Judaism that we don’t normally have formal learning time to discuss. When we finished learning we headed towards dinner. After we ate we headed back outside, sat in a circle and began to ebb shabbos away. However, this ebbing was not like any other ebbing. This shabbos we didn’t just ebb shabbos away, but we simultaneously brought Tisha Ba’av in. 

We changed out of our leather shoes and headed towards the shul for davening. We prayed mariv/arvit and then sat on the floor as we read Megilat Eicha. The moment became serious and many of us read along the english to Eicha for the very first time. After finishing Eicha we began a very special Tisha Ba’av program. The programs goal was to try and help us connect to the loss of the Beis Hamikdash, a building that we never knew, nor know anyone who knew of it. We focused on how the feeling of despair, pain and suffering stems from the loss of the Beis Hamikdash so many years ago. We discussed the deep meaning behind many of our familiar songs and how we can add a new concentration to them as we sing. From there we went outside and sang around a fire underneath the star-filled sky. Many of us shared important life lessons that we felt others can gain strength from. The courage that your children had when speaking truly blew me away. The strength and optimism portrayed when recalling such struggles inspired me in unimaginable ways. We didn’t finish the program until 1 am because people were so focused on listening and being there for each other. The achdus, the unity, displayed made me doubt why the new Beis Hamikdash is not yet here. NCSY Israel ID has changed. They have changed not only as individuals from the moment they stepped on the plane a short two weeks ago, but they have changed as a group and as a family. We ended Tisha Ba’av in the best way imaginable, singing our hearts out at the Kotel, the western wall. The inspiration was palpable. After we finished we went out to eat to break our fasts at Gregs. It was awesome, there was an array of different foods; pastas, pizzas, salads, vegetable, french fries and for dessert belgian waffles! We are ecstatic to begin a full week of activities ahead as a changed group, as a grown group and as one Israel ID. 

Don’t forget to check out our awesome pre-shabbos week 2 video by our very own Eliana Halley! 


Yoni Pollock 

Director, NCSY Israel ID

Visit Israel ID

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