We met for candle lighting and all of GIVE walked through the streets of Yerucham into the desert. We davened mincha, followed by a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat with dancing as the sun set. It was so special to be all alone in the desert, with just our GIVE family.
We moved into the light of the nearby yeshiva for maariv, then walked back to our hotel for a delicious dinner. After singing, dancing, and Divrei Torah, some went to bed, while others stayed for an amazing and inspiring tisch.
Shabbos morning we woke up, davened, had kiddush, and divided into our chaburas to discuss the lifelong question: “Why are we Jewish?,” had lunch, followed by menucha time filled with friends, sleep, and learning. We met again for mincha and hilarious icebreakers. Then we had Beit Midrash-learning in groups, with friends, or with advisors. After shaleshudis we extended shabbos by 50 minutes for ebbing (as Shabbos ebbs away)- hearing our amazing advisor Aviyah tell us a story, followed by slow singing. Then our GIVE tatte, David Steible, made Havdallah, and we continued to dance and sing.
We met again 15 minutes later, and walked back into the desert for one of the most meaningful experiences so far this summer. Surrounded by only sand and the starry sky, our advisors Erika and Chen shared personal experiences, then we walked off into the desert alone to think and talk to Hashem in our own words, not the ones that we say from our siddurim every day.
Even though Hitbodedut is a personal, solitary, experience, it started many conversations on the way back to the hostel, where we were met with amazing pizza for dinner. Many boxes of pizza, conversations, pictures, and ping-pong games later, we were sent to bed to rest for an exciting day tomorrow!