Today started like any other day – wake up for davening, connect with The Holy One, eat a ten course breakfast in ten minutes, and have some great chaburas! Then, we got on the bus, and, of course, started the day with a hike!
Today, however, we did something special – we visited the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the holy rabbi who delivered to us the Zohar, the holy book of Kabballah! This was the second tomb that we have visited of a Rabbi from the time of the Mishnah or Gemarrah, and it was great connecting to our religious heritage in addition to our connection to the land and the country.
Then, off to lunch in Tzfat! We had a “pizur” lunch, where NCSYers were able to walk around (somewhat) on their own and have lunch at restaurants with money the program gives them, then it was off on a great walking tour of the city. We learned about an important battle that took place in the 1948 War of Independence, we got to visit the shuls of two VERY important rabbis – Rabbi Yosef Caro, who wrote the Shulchan Aruch, and the Arizal, who explained the Kabballah to us, AND, we got to do some shopping in the Artist’s District!
Things, however, do not always go as planned, and as we were ready to leave Tzfat, our bus wouldn’t start! Just when it looked like we were going to be stranded waiting in the heat for a new bus, our head staff put together more activities in Tzfat, and we got to see how glass blowing is done in a glass artist’s studio! After the demonstration, NCSY decided that we’d had a busy afternoon and took us all out for ice cream while the bus issues were finished up.
We then headed for a cool dinner in a Druze villiage, got back to the hotel fairly early, and had a birthday party for Julian!
After that, everyone was pretty ready for some sleep after a long, fun, and inspiring day!