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Photo Journalism Blog

Spiritual Awakenings

This trip has been filled by hikes and spiritual awakenings. My personal struggle with religion has been an ongoing battle with myself internally, but standing at that while watching everyone around me break down in tears, made me realize that their is more to a religion then following the rules of the Torah or Bible. It’s about community. Reading the Tanakh in class is one thing but going out in experiencing the world through the eyes of a traveler is another. We stood at the palace of King David and sung songs in the tunnel where jews has once dug in urgency. We hiked down mountains and saw the city of Jerusalem from all directions. The way that the Tanakh was brought to life was not in a way where I saw the events played out, or imagined the characters walking around. It was more in a spiritual way that the Tanakh connects with the Jewish people in ways that others don’t understand. These stories aren’t just stories, they are our history. The origin of the morals and values that the Jewish people hold dear. Visiting The Gilboa, Sataf, Tayelet, City of David, and the Kotel made me feel more connected to the Jewish people as a nation and as a community. The life that this tiyul gave the Tanakh was the sense of life that I felt at every stop. I felt the presence of generations of Jews flow through me as I walked through the water tunnels. I felt the spirit of generations of jew flow through me as I lay my palm on the stones of the Kotel. I felt my people surround me, unified in pain, hope, and song. This is what makes the Tanakh alive, the people of which this boom connects. - Danielle