Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Trip To Israel, Part 4

I'm writing this Tuesday evening, so I hope I can remember most of the details.
For shabbos we stayed at Chispin. The shul's lights were basically off, so there was minimal light to daven by. The dancing and singing at L'Cha Doidi was very moving.
Friday night I went to sleep around 11:00 or 12:00, so I got a good sleep that night, finally.
Shabbos day, during the meal, we had a guest speaker. He works for N'siv (orNtziv) which is an organization that tries to teach Yiddishkeit to (mainly Russian) goyim in the army, and try to convince them to convert. I know! We all had our suspicions about this group, but the frum guy who spoke to us explained the reasoning of the Rabbanim in Israel.
  1. The idea that we don't try to get people to convert isn't so Pashut. It itself is a machlokes.
  2. These people, many are from Jewish grandparents, etc, and are in fact Jewish
  3. It is dangerous for the Israeli public, since everyone assumes they are Jewish, but really they aren't. This is a big problem for marriage.
Do I agree then? I'm not sure.
Later in the day, a teacher and head of some sort of Yeshiva organization gave us a 'shiur' about...we're not really sure what. He is a big Zionist, and basically they have a problem since they kind of ran out of goals now. They can't promote more settling the land of Israel, because of the border problems, etc., and giving away land. His speech was about how the hard times now are part of the Geulah (and how Medinat Yisroel is the start of Moshiach...) That's basically the most I understood, or cared to pay attention to.
(My friends developed the tried and true method to listening to Birthright speakers:
  1. Nod.
  2. Smile.
  3. And clap.)
Motzei Shabbos, we drove to Tiveria, on the beautiful Kineret. We visited the Rambam's kever, where nearby are the Sh'la and the Rambam's father, and some Tanaim and Amaroim.
The boardwalk in Tiveria is a cool, hip, place, and we took a cruise on a boat that was basically a floating dancefloor. There were huge speakers, and our DJ was Eric Shlita, or something like that. We moved and grooved to some pumping Jewish music. There were a bunch of bongo drums, which this stoner from the crew led us in a drum circle.