Kabbalat Shabbat in Tzvat- Hannah Miller
The past two months I have spent at AMHSI have been some of the best of my life. While I’ve been here, I’ve gone hiking, swimming, sand dune surfing and so much more, all while creating a family and connecting deeper with my Jewish roots.
One of the most impactful experiences for me so far has been the Shabbat we spent in Tzfat. Up in the very north of Israel, looking over mount Meron, Tzfat has always been very spiritual, but being there as a big group made it feel 10 times as strong. On Friday evening, we walked from where we were staying to a water cistern on the top of the hill Tzfat sits on. The sun had set, Shabbat had started, the air was cool and clean, and so refreshing. When we made it up to the top, we were just quiet for a while, taking in the lights of the city. The view of Mount Meron at dusk, with no power lines, and seeing the stars without the light pollution we were used to, felt magical. We all sat in a circle on the ground, and did our Kabbalat Shabbat service at the water cistern. The sound of everyone singing echoed through the water cistern and amplified our sound, it felt like there were 100 people singing instead of 50, that our voices could be heard for miles. While it was just a small moment it felt like everyone was really brought together, that we were starting to build not just closer friendships, but a family at AMHSI.
When we woke up in the morning, we had some free time to walk around Tzfat before our activity started. A few of my friends and I decided we wanted to walk up to a lookout point. Walking through the streets without any technology or cars around us was a very strange but refreshing feeling. Being able to run through the streets without any worry, seeing kids playing outside of the beautiful old synagogues. It was really amazing to experience. Our time in Tzfat really just showed me how much there is to appreciate, outside of our normal everyday lives.
I am truly so grateful I am able to experience all that I have on this program, and that I still have many more amazing experiences ahead of me. I am looking forward to how our relationships as a group will progress, and how much closer we will grow in the next month and a half. It's crazy how quickly we have reached halfway on this program. I know that the second half will go just as quickly, so I need to take my time to really appreciate all I have on this program, and I’m so ready for all of the memories it will produce.