ShnUpdate - Savyon 26.04.18

the weekend started with a lovely Nava Tehila service. We danced, we swayed, we sweated. Joe even got a fist bump from a rabbi he gardened with. What more could you want from a spiritual opening to the Shabbas?

Several Shnatties invaded the home of our Madrich, Leora, who hosted us for a fantastic friday night meal. We had a great time, and the food was incredible. We were particularly taken by the picture of Hipster Ben Gurion on her wall, which we all stared at far more than we should have.

Later that night, we hastily remembered the birthday of Gideon, who has made our top 17 Shnatties list every week since he started the program. We all dressed up as his favourite characters and people. Suddenly, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, and the cast of ‘People Just Do Nothing’ filled the flat, which he seemed to enjoy.

We had a chilled weekend, with visits to the Old City, the Independence day BBQ, and plenty of other exciting activities. We have a seminar next weekend in Haifa, so everyone took the opportunity to rest and recharge their energy levels. We attended the community garden again, which really feels like we’re contributing the local neighbourhood.

Sunday was an emotional rollercoaster, but one of those really flat ones where you go really fast. We had Ulpan, learning plenty of (PG) Hebrew slang (‘Zorim’ - going with the flow, ‘Stam’ - no real reason) and many more. We had a particularly speedy asepha, deciding all the things in record time and only minor injuries acquired. Nathan now looks after the money, which might be a mistake considering his history of embezzlement.

Monday was a day. We started it with a Netzer Germany ma’amad from our lovely German shnatties and guests. We’re all now fluent in the language and definitely have no problems with pronunciation. Next up, we had a bittersweet session with Amir, who led his final session on Zionism and nationalism. We were sad to see him go, but boy, do we know all about Herzl now.

Many Shnattie-led sessions were ran that day. We had a hot air balloon debate between Danny Devito and Henry VIII, learnt all about Israeli culture, and had a pub quiz about outdated stuff. Who knew Guy Feiri had published 4 books? Not us!

Tuesday was an all out war in the Etgar flat. April 1st was in our chofesh period, so we decided to run a new Aprils fools day. Everyone got the cheekiness out of their systems, with showers padlocked, cups of water in front of doors, and the odd bit of fake news. We were left disoriented and scared, hiding in corners, with no one to trust.

Later that day, we had a fascinating session with Rabbi Deborah Evron, a feminist Orthodox pushing the boundaries of inclusion in Judaism. Her views on social action and changing the world for the better were truly inspiring.

All in all, this week definitely happened. Some of it will be remembered fondly, and some we will promptly forget. But that’s life, y’know?

Big wet sloppy kiss on the cheeky,

Nathan and Joe

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Masa Gap Year programs offer college-bound high school graduates a year of valuable life experience before college, with Israel providing the perfect environment for them to explore their interests, identity, and future steps. Through a combination of academic coursework, volunteering, traveling, and an immersive experience in Israeli society, Fellows return home with the life skills to make the most out of their college experience. Learn more about Masa here.

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© 2016 Orit Sagi, Netzer Olami, Photography by Danit Ariel & Roy Elman