As I opened my eyes in the morning, the loud chirping of the birds that populate Kibbutz Hakuk in the Galil reminded me immediately of the beauty of Eretz Israel. Even though I’ve traveled to Israel several times before, I can’t recall ever being so amazed by the beauty of our ancestors land. The bus ride to Tzfat was filled with gorgeous glimpses of the Kinneret, the mountains, and Israeli farms. This land sure is something special.
Our first stop in Tzfat was at the home and studio of a man named Avraham. Avraham, an orthodox Jew who made aliyah from Michigan, spends his days studying Kaballah and creating art that reflects the intricacies of the Jewish mysticism. Of course, we all rushed to buy some of his art before we had to leave and make space for the next Taglit group. Tzfat breathes Jewish history. It’s not hard to understand why the first Kabbalists who resided in the beautiful city on a mountainside were struck with awe by the greatness creation. After learning about the history of Tzfat from our badass guide, Doron, five of us journeyed to a famous ritual bath and broke our mikveh virginities. The water was cold, but I’m glad that I pushed myself to have a new experience and it was certainly interesting to dip in the same water as some of the most famous Rabbis in history.
We spent the afternoon in Akko, a city that clearly demonstrates the numerous vastly different stages in the history of this land. In Akko we visited a beautiful mosque, which was the first time in a mosque for most of the people on our trip. I appreciated learning a little about Islam and the history of Muslims in this land. As Doron said “Jews and Muslims both have history in this land” and it’s important to understand and acknowledge this history. By the time we arrived in Tiberias for dinner, I was exhausted and was glad to close the day with a big meal at a Lebanese restaurant overlooking the Kinneret.