Spending the High Holidays in Israel was such an incredible experience.
Spending the High Holidays in Israel was such an incredible experience. I have always celebrated Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Sukkot at home in the US, but I never really felt any connection to them. Usually, I go to synagogue for a couple of hours, think about the year ahead, but in the end, I would go home, and my day would go on just like any other regular day. These days that are supposed to be the holiest days of the year don't end up even feeling very special. I was looking forward to spending these holidays in Israel, but I didn't really know what to expect.
Here in Israel, I was surprised to see how different it felt. I actually ended up having a very positive experience. I had meaningful discussions about forgiveness, went to some services, and was even able to fast the whole way through Yom Kippur. Seeing all of the people celebrating in the streets on Yom Kippur, or hearing people say shana tova as we passed them walking into town was such an incredible feeling. One of the biggest reasons I was excited to go on this program and spend a semester in Israel was finally not being a minority, and I really felt that on Yom Kippur. Being able to celebrate the holiest day surrounded by community and friends was the perfect way to spend the holiest day of the year.
I am so excited to celebrate Sukkot on campus this weekend and create more unforgettable memories of my time here in Israel.