Leaving my home wasn’t easy.
Leaving my home wasn’t easy. It takes courage to leave everything you’re comfortable with and used to, and replace it with a country you’ve never been to. It so far has been a real culture shock and I have had trouble even getting to converse with shop owners. To someone not Jewish you may wonder why I would choose to do this. The reason I chose to do this was to challenge myself for a once in a lifetime experience. Israel drew me here because I know it had more knowledge about my religion that I could learn up close no where else. My first impressions were that this was going to be cliquey and very close groups. I was wrong. The kids here are very nice and only mean well. I was hoping to make good friends and I already have. I want to get out a rich religious experience while having fun. Today we did our first Tiyul to Tel Gezer. Even though it wasn’t all much in sight to a blind eye, learning about what happened on these grounds, like child sacrifice, is shocking to hear while standing right there. It was very cool to hear the past while walking on it. We learned the 4 needs in a land to survive, and how this mountain grew in layers. I had a great time on our first Tiyul and I hope to do more that were this fun. Even though I’ve been here for 4 days I already feel as if I have adapted completely. On the plane I saw people getting up early in the morning getting out of their seats to pray from any culture from Judaism to Muslims. As this is unfamiliar to me I wonder what I have gotten myself into. As I get to the rooms I unpack and meet the 4 roommates I have and we already begin to bond. I think the coolest experience so far on campus was shabbat. We did not have a full on service, but a circle where we sang, prayed, and meditated, followed with a shabbat dinner and a dance party. Saturday was a complete day of cool resting. I woke up around 10:30 am, and had an activity at 11 till 12, and had from 12pm to 6pm to do whatever I felt like, along the school rules of course. Since most every is closed for shopping and restaurants, I stayed on campus and chilled. I went to the music room and played with a group of kids, (I was on drums). Around 7:30 or 8 shops in Hod Hasharon open back up after shabbat ends. So I went out with friends and hung out in the city for a little while. Tomorrow I go on another Tiyul (Trip) to hike and visit the oldest city in the world (City of David)! I look forward to tomorrow and the whole week ahead. So far all is good in Hod Hasharon and in AMHSI.