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Day 12: A Tapestry of Israel

July 23, 2012

Our last day in Jerusalem was bitter sweet (although some in the group might just call it bitter). I was about ready to head home, but was also going to miss Israel and the incredible experiences we got to share. Early in the day we meet with Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, who is the founding chief rabbi of Efrat, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Riskin spoke to us about how Jews and Arabs can come together, and a bit about how the United States was imminently going to be targeted by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who he compared to Hitler. Riskin had very strong opinions and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with some members of the groups when it came to politics, which made for an interesting start to the day.

For a change of pace, we then went to one of the world’s longest ziplines, where some members of the group got to experience what must have been a rush of excitement. Being afraid of heights and just generally a scaredy cat, I stayed at ground level and watched while trying to take some pictures of my dad and sister in action.

After that, our day was pretty much done. We packed our belongings, then ate a final dinner together as a group at a nice restaurant, where we reflected for a bit on the trip. Then we headed back to the airport in Tel Aviv, going through many layers of Israeli airport security, before heading out on a long adventure home. I can’t speak for everyone, but this trip was an amazing experience, and I was glad I was able to experience and help bring it to this blog.

– Josh

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