Day 5 Part 1

Day five started out with another relieving late wake-up. At 8:00, Jeremy, Sam, and I got out of bed ready to start the day. We went down to the lobby and met outside to get ready to walk to Shavuot services. When we arrived to the Great Synagogue, it was modern and beautiful! When we walked into services, a young boy was at the bimah! It was interesting to see a child leading services, even though it was only for a little while. After that, the, Megillah of Ruth was read. However, it was fairly inaudible due to the fact that it was an Orthodox synagogue, in which case there was no microphone despite the large size of the sanctuary. Further on in the service, we read the Ten Commandments. We stood up for this, which was interesting. Being in this shul was quite different than the Italian shul we had gone to yesterday. This shul was much larger, they had an amazing cantor, (not as good as Cantor Lichterman of course), and a choir supplemented the cantor during most of the prayers. As a music lover, I enjoyed listening to that. After services were over, we looked at one of the largest mezuzah collections in the world, of which one of the most famous is the mezuzah of Rabbi Nachman of Braslav, which was carved from a remnant of wood from the original magnificent chair he sat in more than 200 years ago in his synagogue around 1800, which was dismantled and sent to Israel to be preserved. Rabbi Nachman was one of the greatest Chasidic rabbis and also the great grandson of the founder of the Chasidic movement. This mezuzah was particularly simple compared to the others.

Changing topic now, when we left the shul, we headed back to the hotel. We had previously been informed that the day was far too hot for a long hike, and we ended up getting about 5 hours of free time, the largest chunk of the day we have gotten for free time so far! To fill the time, everybody came together to either play card games such as euchere, ERS, and BS, which was tons of fun. It was wonderful to have this much free time before our evening activities.

-Quinn Murphy

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Categories: Israel Trip 2013 | Leave a comment

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