Israel: Mount Meron, Tzfat, and Tiberias

So, I did not get time to blog in Israel.  We had very limited free time and I did not want to spend it on my phone.  I returned to the States four days ago and came back to Michigan the next day.  I dealt with some apartment-related stress and am now ready to catch up on my blog posts from my time in Israel!

Our third day there began with a hike at Mount Meron.  I’ll be honest; the hikes in the first few days have all kind of run together for me.  They were all similar, all of them had lookout points, and of course they were all amazing.  I took just a couple photos during the Mount Meron hike:

view from mount meron

view from Mount Meron

After our hike, we hopped on the bus and headed to Tzfat, a northern city and “the birthplace of Jewish mysticism,” as the tagline goes.  Immediately after arriving, we went to a Kabbalistic gallery owned by a man called Avraham, who was actually from very near me in Michigan!  He gave a short talk about his experience discovering his connection to Judaism and the Kaballah, and then we did some shopping.  I bought a small (maybe six square inches) piece to hang on the wall in my new apartment.  I don’t have a photo of it on hand, or I would share.

a street in tzfat
First glimpse of Tzfat

Next, we went to lunch and then headed to a place called Ascent for a workshop on what I think was supposed to be Kabbalah, but it was more like a workshop on morality.  We had a discussion about trading prisoners.  After that, we got to finally get out into the city.  We visited two synagogues: an Ashkenazi synagogue that was a gift from the Sephardi, and a Sephardic synagogue.  The interiors of both were beautiful.  Us ladies had to dress up “modestly,” covering our knees and shoulders, because the synagogues were orthodox.

modest clothing
At least I had an excuse to wear one of my hand-knit shawls!

above the ark

ark

synagogue ceiling

synagogue

Afterwards, we were set free to explore some of the galleries in Tzfat.  We were confined to one street, but there was plenty to look at.  I didn’t buy anything, but there were some truly stunning works.  There were hand-made jewelry, paintings, and hand-woven talitot.

We headed back to the hotel for dinner and did an activity to prepare for Israeli peers to join us the next day.  We made fake Facebook profiles for them based on their names and a few facts and interests.  Needless to say, my group’s profile was way off for the person we had.

That night, we had a night out in Tiberias, a city on the coast of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret in Hebrew).  Most of our group went to an outdoor bar along the water and danced the night away.  The bartender was encouraging people to get up and dance on the bar.  I have to say, I did it.  Never would I ever do such a thing in America!

On the way home from that night, I wrote the post about days one and two. 😉  Expect a write-up of the next day soon!

 

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