Weekly Updates

Weekly Updates – Jerusalem December 18, 2016

israel army soldier - gap year programDear Parents!

Well, we had another full week at Aardvark!

On Monday afternoon we went to the Marva Ceremony (Military Track) at the Western Wall. We saw Jake Walters and Jordie Wise receive their Diskit (Dog Tags). Everyone was really excited to see them in their IDF uniforms, standing in formation while the ceremony went on. After the ceremony, we sat with Jordie and Jake and gave them crowns we had made for them and cupcakes that some of the students baked to celebrate. It was great to catch up with them and they definitely enjoyed our presence as well to support them!

Later, on Monday evening, we began our celebration of Hanukkah a little early by making homemade sufganiyot. We made a huge mess but it was definitely worth it in the end. They were super tasty and we were even able to inject Jelly into them! Noam Ganz said “I really look forward to sufganiyot every year and it was fun to make them with everyone!”

On Tuesday Morning, Chaya took several students to donate blood. It was amazing to see that the students care about the community. I’m attaching a picture of the brave Sarah Pfrenger donating blood with a happy smile.

On Tuesday afternoon, we toured the Knesset and met with Yehuda Glick, a member of Knesset. During the tour, our guide pointed out to us multiple important areas of the Knesset. We got to take a look at the Israeli Deceleration of Independence and learn the history behind it. We also saw Marc Chagall’s massive painting in The Chagall State Hall of the Knesset and saw how the elements in his painting represent different times in Jewish history. After Chagall’s painting, we moved on to sit in on the daily session of the Knesset and had a chance to listen to some of the issues the Knesset was reviewing. Next, we walked across the Knesset to meet with Yehuda Glick. But on the way we made a short stop to look at the “Board of Attendance”. We saw which members of Knesset was present and what percentage of each party was represented on that Tuesday.

After the tour of the Knesset, we had a really great opportunity to speak with Yehuda Glick in one of the Committee rooms. Yehuda Glick spoke about his background, then went on to speak about how he survived an assassination attempt by someone who did not agree with his beliefs and what he was working towards. After he told his heartfelt story, he explained how he believes that Har HaBayit (The Temple Mount) should be open to everyone for prayer including Jews, Muslims, Christians and others. He then went on to read and explain the “Jerusalem Covenant” which in short declares Jerusalem to be the eternal Biblical and political capital of Israel. Nearly 100,000 people have signed the Covenant and Glick is working towards even more signatures.

Later in the evening, we had a Seret Burekas (Burekas Movie) which is our Israeli Movie night. We eat burekas and watch a classic Israeli film is a celebration of Israeli Culture. For the evening, we watched the Israeli Comedy Classic “Mivtzah Safta” (Operation Grandmother). The movie embodies 3 stereotypical Israeli brothers, who after learning about their passing of their grandmother, have to come up with a solution to organize her funeral since their Kibbutz won’t make arrangements for them. Zanna Lewkowicz commented that she really enjoyed the movie and thought it was very funny.

This week in Parsha and Pizza the group studied the story of Jacob wrestling with angel. Rabbi Marc presented a few commentaries that explored the story not just as a battle between Jacob and an angel but rather as cosmic struggle between the powers of good and the forces of evil. The Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that when Jacob refused to let the angel go before receiving a blessing that perhaps we can all find the power to let the bad that happens to us serve as ultimately something positive, something that builds and makes us grow – in other words a true blessing

Until next week parents, the last week of the semester. All of the students are cramming for finals and packing to move on to Tel Aviv.

All the best,

Natali

 

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