Chillin' on the Kibbutz
Shalom everybody - I hope you are all having a nice weekend. Mine was really nice. We left Friday to go north to a religious kibbutz. On the way, we had a tour guide show us some historic places, so the trip was broken up into a few different segments. The first segment of the trip was "naptime." I liked that a lot. After that, we looked at a place that they called the "Gateway to the Garden of Eden." During the day we got to see fortresses, areas that were ruled by Romans, Ottomans, and Jews at different times, and some of the agricultural progress that Israel has made on the land. While some people feel very Zionist, or pro-Israel, when they do something religious in the land, for me, I feel very Zionist when I see the amazing things that the settling Israelis did with the land. It's just impossible to describe how greeen and beautiful these areas are, and so impressive how productive Israel is, especially since 70 years ago, much of the area was a wasteland, and the country itself is so young. I won't go on too much more about that, but it is really striking to me. When we got closer to the kibbutz, we got to tour their fish ponds. Now I can say I've done that. The kibbutz itself, Kibbutz Shluchot, is a very pretty place. It is one of the few kibbutzim remaining that are still socialist. Most have gone on to give salaries and things like that. We had Shabbat services with them. While I didn't like that the women were on a balcony, above the men, because it was difficult to hear what is going on, I don't think I'll ever get over being blown away by the unifying factor in Judaism of prayer. I love that if you know your way through a traditional prayer service, then anywhere you go in the world, you can find a service to participate in. Even if some things are different, for the most part things are the same. It's very powerful to be able to come to Jerusalem, and say prayers with new people for the first time, and have it be the same prayers that I would be saying at home. Even many of the tunes are the same. It's really beautiful. Saturday was relaxing, and very warm! The sun was shining, and some of us took a nap on the grass. We came home refreshed and ready for a new week! Shavua Tov, Have a Good Week!