"Market" By: Misty Coates
I realized at the market in jerusalem that life is happening all around us and that it doesn't have to be black and white like it tends to be in the states. I linked myself to Israel in this market because of the sense of liveliness happening all around me. I realized people can walk through with machine guns and haggle prices because thats life. It's not just police officers that carry guns and prices don't always have to be set. Everything is negotiable and life is flexible.
I celebrated Sukkot by going to a Chabad event in a Sukkah. I got an invitation from a group of college friends, which was really neat. I actually met these friends right around the time I signed up for birthright. It was most meaningful to me to be in the Sukkah with friends as we were eating and drinking because it gave us time to catch up and chat about our heritage and how our families celebrated the holidays. Also a surprising number of people at my table went on birthright, so we shared our Israel stories. We got to eat in the Sukkah, but I didn’t get a chance to shake the lulav, or etrog.
I clicked on the video because I wanted to know the secret. It was like buying a magazine because of the tabloids. I'm glad I clicked because the scenery in the video was amazing and when I go back to Israel I want to experience the breath taking views for myself. I already thought Tel Aviv was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. This video clip just reinforced my thoughts. I can't wait to go back to Israel.
My boss from work invited me over to a Shabbat dinner with his family. My fiancé and I were excited to be included in the festivities. We brought the challah bread for the night and a rice side dish. My boss made chicken and vegetables. We all enjoyed ourselves and had a wonderful time. It was special that we could all enjoy our Friday evening with close friends and not have any distractions from the real world. We sang a few prayers and said Kadish. My favorite part was lighting the candles. If my boss invited me over for another Shabbat meal I would absolutely join his family. They were a great bunch to celebrate with.
For Yom Kippur I chose to fast this year. I normally don't celebrate this holiday at all, but after my birthright trip I felt more inclined to celebrate jewish holidays. If I had a friend to go to a ceremony with I probably would have gone. I just didn't feel comfortable going by myself. I really enjoyed celebrating because it gave me a lot of time to evaluate life. I was able to use the day to relieve stress and to think deeply. I broke my fast on In-N-Out animal style fries.
It was nice catching up with everyone on the E-reunion. I appreciate all of the Israelis staying up late in order to participate. It was awesome to hear what people have been up to since our summer trip. I wish I lived in NY sometimes and it sounds really cool that the twins are playing music in Penn station. I just hope we earn enough points for a reunion because I was to see everyone in person. I’m going to make sure I get my 100 points in order to see everyone again. Plus during holidays and school breaks I’ve talked with some people about visiting and traveling. I just felt a sense of joy and was smiling the rest of the day after seeing everyone.
Israeli name: Ofir
I got to catch up with Ofir on Skype yesterday and I enjoyed every second of it. I live with all guys and it was nice to have some girl time. We talked about we have been up to since Israel. I told her about my engagement party planning and work. I learned about Ofirs future travel plans and we both agreed to meet up around the world throughout our lives. We both love traveling and have some of the same things marked on our bucket list.
I watched inside out with my niece and she’s seven years old. For a childrens movie this was deep. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, but I think it has different meanings for different audiences. After the movie my niece mentioned that the girl in the movie was crazy and had a lot of emotions, which made her life more difficult. I laughed and shrugged it off. In my mind her opinion was accurate, but I was still left perplexed at the complexity of a “kid” film. Once Riley’s feelings learned how to work together versus pull her into 10 different directions it makes her life easier and their control panel grows. Children only have the ability to have a single feeling at a time, whereas adults can have many. This is essentially similar to Judaism to where you have to love yourself before loving others. It is just translated from the idea of the movie where you have to control your emotions and feelings in order to help a friend do the similar task. Viewing this film with my niece was an amazing experience because I walked into this thinking it was just another animate kid movie, but it was actually an eye opening experience on life’s perspective.
I watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 actually before I left on my trip. While I was on birthright I was reading the book. It was funny because I was comparing the book to the movie and actually made some comparisons in my mind while in Israel. I think that in society there are many different definitions of what it is to be a strong independent woman. It especially varies depending on which cultures society you’re referring to. It made me consider what it was like to be cool like Katniss in a movie versus a woman in America, and I also compared it to the middle east. When I broke down the middle east I thought about women in Israel versus women in other middle eastern countries. Plus what women in Israel have to put up with in terms of being surrounded by enemies and trying to keep their families safe. The chaos of the movie made me realize that there are people in the real world that deal with these issues.
Last night (9/04) I hosted a Shabbat dinner with my family and a couple of my friends. I liked the experience and it was emotionally cleansing. I was happy to reflect on life and family memories with everyone as we were gathered around the table. We had chicken and vegetables. I know that saying Kaddish is traditionally sad and it isn’t suppose to be a highlight for the Shabbat service, but I was relieved that I had the strength to say my grandmothers name. When we had our Shabbat during birthright I wanted to say her name during our Kaddish, but for some reason I couldn’t speak up because I was either too shy, or too sad. I just appreciated and loved her so much because she raised me and I just wished she could’ve been at dinner. This is the first Shabbat I have ever hosted and to me it altered my opinion on Jewish holidays and I now consider Shabbat one of the most important holidays because it brings the family together. I really enjoyed being with everyone I love and under one roof, just laughing and remembering loved ones together. In todays society we just don’t do that enough and it’s very important. I am hosting Shabbat at my place again next Friday.
I watched the 7 Israel inside/ out videos. Even though it took quite a bit of time to complete I really enjoyed this because it reminded me to reflect on my time in Isreal. I appreciated my experience much more after Hillel guided us through the aspects of being a citizen in Israel. It’s more complicated than living in any other country, but to me that is what provokes the compassion that Israelis feel for their land. The ties to the military and what it takes to become a member of the IDF was eye opening to me. The video gave it a deeper meaning for me and aided in my understanding of the lifestyle and obstacles. The technology section reminded me of my birthright trip when we visited a place that was known for innovation and we designed our own obstacle course. I learned from Hillel that the App “Waze” was created in Israel along with many other successful companies. Hillel combined with the video made me consider my career choice and how it could translate to raising a family in Israel. The video about the news reporting bias and the Palestinian conflict made my heart ache as I watched. Based on my trip, I now know that as Americans we are basically mind washed into believing that Israel is bullying everyone with missiles and violence. Which obviously is not true and Israel is just looking to protect their citizens and give the luxury of piece of mind. Also, I learned about the PLO and their existence as a terrorist group that denied Israel’s right to existence. The videos were a great mind refresher for all of the facts that I learned on birthright, but I was excited to continue building on my knowledge.
Breathtaking, I stumbled upon this While in Berlin and did nor realize until i read the placard that it was a tribute to the holocaust.
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AboutThe 100 Point Challenge is an opportunity for returning Taglit-Birthright participants to TRY a variety of Jewish activities, find those activities that they LOVE and want to continue to LIVE. Bring Israel Home participants can choose to complete any Jewish activity that speaks to them to earn 100 points. 75% or more of the American participants in a participating Taglit-Birthright bus must earn 100 points on the Bring Israel Home website within three months after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to earn a Bring Israel Home weekend reunion. All those participants who earn 100 points of Jewish activity are eligible for the weekend reunion. The Bring Israel Home 100 Point Challenge is divided into two milestones. Participants must earn 50 points within the first month of returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience to qualify for the following milestone. After achieving the first milestone, participants have two months to earn their final 50 points of Jewish activity. The milestones are clearly outlines below:MilestonesMilestone 1: 75% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 50 points of Jewish activity in the first month after returning from their Taglit-Birthright experience. Milestone 2: 75% of a Taglit-Birthright bus must complete 100 points of Jewish activity in the two months after achieving Milestone 1. Please Note: Israeli participants should be completing 100 points of Jewish activity with their fellow American participants to be eligible to be flown in to the United States for the Bring Israel Home weekend. However, Israeli participants are not included as part of the 75% participation needed to achieve a milestone.
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