Day Seven: The Art of Kabbalah

20 Jun

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On the seventh day in Israel, we woke up later than usual, at 8 am which was much needed. We ate breakfast at the kibbutz and left promptly after finishing. We drove about 30 minutes to the town of Tzfat which is where Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism, was founded. The first place we stopped at in Tzfat was the art studio of Avraham, formerly known as Robert in the states. He gave us a small lesson on Kabbalah and told us the importance of our Hebrew names to us as individuals. He explained some of his pieces and he had a lot for sale. After that, we walked through the town and learned that light blue is a recurring color in the town to match the sky. We maneuvered through the crowds of Birthright kids in the small alleyways and did some shopping. There was a a magnificent candle factory that created elaborate scenes such as David slaying Goliath all from wax. They had the biggest and craziest candles I’ve ever seen in my life. After that we waked to both the Ashkenazi and Sephardic synagogues in the town and learned the history of them. Both of synagogues had light blue painting in them coinciding with the light blue theme of the town. One thing that this small community did not lack was art and jewelry. We shopped and explored the art galleries and jewelry shops. We left Tzfat and drove about 30 minutes to eat lunch at Jewish Yemenite couple’s house. This was easily the best part of the day. This man’s house looked like it came out of a Salvador Dali painting with mosaics all over and and surreal sculptures everywhere. His house was surrounded by olive trees and he pressed and bottled his own olive oil as well. The lunch he prepared for us was the best meal I’ve had on this trip…so far. There was Israeli salad, hummus, chicken kabobs, warm pita, and ice cold lemonade with mint. There’s nothing better than a home made meal because it’s unmatchable.
After our lavish feast, we said goodbye to our amiable host and his house that I wish I lived in and drove another 30 minutes to a waterfall. Before we reached the waterfall we had to walk about half an hour through a creek and up the side of a mountain. Upon reaching the destination, we discovered that it was not a waterfall but two pipes spewing cold water out of a wall. Not quite a waterfall but it works. After we returned to the kibbutz where we were staying, had dinner, and had a nice talk outside on the grass about our highlights and lowlights of the trip so far. Everyone had trouble coming up with lowlights and couldn’t stop coming up with highlights to share. I can’t wait to see what other highlights we’ll have over the next seven days.

-Ike Pintchuck, Bob Malkin Young Ambassador 2013

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