Unity without uniformity - camel riding , Bedouin experience, Masada , Dead Sea and the academy of leadership Ein Prat.
We made an early start from Jerusalem and descended into the desert. I new this day would be full of adventure and a leap back in time! Adrienne Gold explained that we as Jews must have unity and responsibility without uniformity.
Some things in this world need to be dissected in order to understand the whole, however we as Jews are like holograms that when you split you get two small versions of the first - we can’t be split - we are all connected.
After a fun ride on the camels under the watchful eye of some good looking camel trainers we all got our camel license we went on to a Bedouin tent experience.
We also learned that your name is your identification and your essence. Some of the women on our programme never received a Hebrew name, so they got the opportunity to choose a name and we then held a naming ceremony for these ladies. It was very emotional and joyous and we all broke into singing and dancing. Next on our agenda was Masada and the Dead Sea. We got to know about the history of Masada from the Maccabees to King Herod, the tragic story of the siege of Masada by the Romans where, instead of becoming slaves to the Romans the Jewish siccarri’s decided that they would die free men on their own terms and committed a mass suicide.
We explored the ancient ruins and sat in one of the first synagogues. At the back of this ancient shul a scribe sat writing a Sefer Torah - and we later learnt that our kids back home at Carmel also witnessed a scribe writing a Sefer Torah at the same time. How ironic and amazing. After this we were all hot and sweaty and we needed a swim so most of the woman painted themselves with ahava mud and immersed into the Dead Sea - all inhibitions were lost. Here our inner child emerged we all giggled and had fun.
Just when we thought the day couldn’t get more invigorating, we visited the academy for leadership - Ein Prat. This establishment or Mechina gives young high school graduates an opportunity to prepare themselves before going into the army. Young adults from both religious and secular backgrounds come together for a year to learn informally about Judaism , leadership skills and the opportunity to travel to underdeveloped countries where they volunteer. Our speaker Eran was so amazing - he himself was dealing with the loss of 10 children that died tragically in the floods the previous week and he wore his emotions as he explained how important it is for leaders to step up - especially in crisis situations. We as Jews focus on life and Tikkun Olam - making the world a better place for everyone .