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ShnUpdate - Savyon 13.09.18

Shana tova to all!!

This week, our kvutzah spent all of two days together as a result of the absolute balagan that is the month of Tishri in the Jewish calendar. Don’t get me wrong - I’m not complaining(!) - but it has left me with a bit of lack of content to fill this weekly update with, so bare with me…

Last Thursday, we all spent the day at an Ahmadiyya Mosque here in Haifa, courtesy of Jess. Most of us hadn’t had many in-person interactions with Islam, so being guided around by one of the community members as well as getting to watch men from the community engage in prayer was a really eye-opening experience. After this, our weekend began, and we immediately began engaging in all the wild activities that teenagers living away from home do during the festive season - dipping apples in obscene amounts of honey, far more than our parents at home would ever allow.

It all commenced at a neighboring community’s shared gardens, where Michael S and Sal have been volunteering. The coordinators of the garden very kindly invited us all to join them for a chag celebration, in which we were able to indulge in home-grown pomegranate and see a local rabbi play the shofar. The next day, most of the kvutzah had already began their Rosh Hashanah travels (stay tuned to hear more!), so Michael S, Jess, and I headed to The Leo Baeck Centre for a Kabbalat Shabbat service. Following the service, we split amongst a couple of families who the community had put us in touch with for a shabbat meal, which was lovely. The rest of the weekend was filled with a lot of undeserved resting, before we all set off on our own Rosh Hashanah adventures.

So, what did everyone do for our Rosh Hashanah chofesh, you ask eagerly?!

Michael S visited his family in Hod haSharon (or Hodders, as he so fondly calls it) and reports that his appetite was well and truly satisfied. Michael L stayed around Haifa and cooked up a feast for himself and a friend, including some extra delicious mini challot that we were all lucky enough to try when we arrived back at home. Nathan had a delightful time celebrating with with his family in Kfar Saba, and Sal also spent time with her family here in Haifa, as well as her mum Avril, who was visiting this week from Sydney! Leigh and Jess stayed in Jerusalem with Leigh’s mum, Jane, who has also been visiting, and spent the chag surrounded by lots of family and friends, as well as exploring the city. I stayed with a friend and her family in Kfar Vradim, in the Galilee, eating tonnes of delicious food and exploring the beautiful nature surrounding her village.

So, indeed, we haven’t spent a lot of time together over the past week, but we all reconvened (apart from Leigh, who is going to be heading over to Jordan with Jane this week!) at the Leo Baeck Centre this morning for our Hinuch day; some arriving with more ease than others… (Michael S got a lift all the way from Hodders with his uncle, while Jess woke up at the crack of dawn to begin her trek to Haifa, only to end up in the wrong city around the time that class was starting). During hinuch day, we read some Jewish texts, learnt about the hidden messages in Israeli popular music, did some kvutzah bonding, and learnt Hebrew… wait for it… in 5 different classrooms!! The best one had some inspirational messages written on the walls - quotes from some of our favourite Jews, including Michael Jordan. Our second favorite quote was written by Marie Curie (or was it Mariah Carey? Let’s be honest, who can decipher Hebrew words without the vowels…?)

All jokes aside however, it’s great to be back together again, throwing around harbe banter. In fact, as I write this, a bunch of us are sitting in our living room writing a parody to Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love about Michael Leibowitz’s beard being shaved off, which we originally set off to do about three hours ago, before realising that it would be an abomination to do so without designating the activity a theme song. So, here we are, and the full version of the song will be attached at the bottom of this update.

Wishing you all a very meaningful holiday period this Tishri, Savyon xx

Can’t Help Falling in Love - Sing along!

Savyon, 2018

Wise men say

Only fools rush in

But you’ve thought for weeks about shaving this beard

Shall I shave?

Would it be a sin

If I wake up looking like the goyim

Like a razor glides

Closely to the skin

Cutting all that hair

Some things are meant to go

Take my beard

Take off 10 years too

For I can’t help, feeling nude with-out you

Like a razor glides

Closely to the skin

Cutting all that hair

Some things are meant to go

(Good)bye my friend

This is not the end

For I still hope that you’ll be back again

...And I will hope, that one day we’ll elope

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