June 29, 2012

During Tefillot this morning, Bus C learned all about niggunim, wordless tunes, and practiced some so they could sing during Shabbat! From Chicago, they headed North toward Madison, Wisconsin with a first stop on the Wisconsin Duck Tours. On the boat, they traveled on the Wisconsin River, seeing the beautiful sandstone bluffs while trying to stay dry. From the river, the group will head to the grocery store to buy some shabbat treats for themselves and for their shabbuddies. Mostly, though, Bus C is super excited to spend their first Shabbat as a group together, learning, singing, davening, and just plain relaxing. Shabbat Shalom, everyone!

June 29, 2012

Group 5 woke up in Lublin, once home to a thriving Jewish community, and started their day Yeshivat Chochmei Lublin. There, the staff members led a limud and the group studied rabbinic texts, much like students of the Yeshiva did in the early twentieth century. It is in this yeshiva where the great Rabbi Shapira invented the system of learning a page of Talmud a day, Daf Yomi, a system still in use today. The group then headed to Majdanek Concentration Camp. One of the most interesting and shocking parts of the camp is that much of the camp is still intact, giving the group a full image of what it looked like when it was operational. Then they drove to Krakow where they will spend their first Shabbat together. They will daven at the Isaac shul as well as eat several of their meals at the olive oil restaurant. During Shabbat they will participate in a limud and return to the olive oil restaurant to eat seudah shlishit and do havadalah. The group is excited to spend their first Shabbat together, singing, learning, and relaxing. Shabbat Shalom!

June 29, 2012

This morning Group 4 headed to the City of David to learn more about the First Temple period. Their highlight was walking through Hezekaya’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). They had a wonderful time walking through the water! Then they headed to the Jewish Quarter to have some lunch followed by a walk to Machane Yehudah – the open market in Jerusalem where they can buy yummy treats, fresh fruits and vegetables and more. Finally they returned to base to prepare for their second Shabbat together which will be spent resting, learning Pirkei Avot and hanging out with one another. Shabbat Shalom!

June 29, 2012

Group 3 woke up this morning and had an introduction to the summer with a discussion of Tikun Olam and Chesed; what the meaning of each phrase is and how to follow through each of them with actions. Then they headed the Machane Yehudah – the open market in Jerusalem where they can buy yummy treats, fresh fruits and vegetables and more. Finally they returned to base to prepare for their first Shabbat together which will be spent resting, learning Pirkei Avot and hanging out with one another. Shabbat Shalom!

June 29, 2012

This morning Group 2 headed to the City of David to learn about the First Temple period. The highlight was walking through Hezekayah’s Tunnel, a water aqueduct that brought water to the city during the time of King Hezekayah (700 BCE). Group 2 had a wonderful time splashing in the water! They walked to the Kotel and around the Jewish Quarter before returning to the base to relax and prepare for their first Shabbat together. Shabbat will be spent resting, learning Pirkei Avot and hanging out with one another. Shabbat Shalom!

June 29, 2012

Today group 1 ventured to Tzfat, a mystical city in northern Israel. Among the many people who came from Tzfat are the prominent kabbalists, Isaac Luria and Moshe Kordovero. Besides the kabbalists, Tzfat also attracted numerous other Jewish scholars and spiritualists, including Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulchan Aruch and Shlomo Halevi Alkabetz, composer of the Shabbat hymn Lecha Dodi. The group had a tour of the city and two of the synagogues. They had some free time to walk around while getting some lunch. Then they returned to Hannaton for their first Shabbat together. They’re looking forward to a very spiritual and relaxing time. Shabbat Shalom!

June 29, 2012

Group 8 spent their morning in Terezin, a concentration camp located an hour outside of Prague. This camp, unlike the others, was used as a propaganda tool, or “show camp,” where the Nazis would invite members of the Red Cross into the camp to dispel rumors about the extermination camps. One unique element that came out of this camp is the tremendous amount of art produced by children and adults. There is now a museum with lots of children’s drawings, which the group spent a lot of time viewing. They watched a movie about the camp, and saw the synagogue that existed there (another piece of evidence that this camp was different). The group then returned to Prague to prepare for Shabbat. Tonight they will have their own minyan for Kabbalat Shabbat at the hotel followed by dinner and Oneg. Tomorrow they will join the Rabbi Hoffberg from the Masorti (Conservative) community for services at the High Synagogue. The group is thrilled to be spending their first Shabbat together in Prague. They will sing, learn and relax. Shabbat Shalom!

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