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Lockdown in the Promised Land!

Updated: Nov 15

The first six weeks of my HaBonim Dror Olami shnat program in Israel passed by extremely fast. Currently we are staying at Kibbutz Revivim. Soon we will exchange the kibbutz rooms for an apartment in Tel Aviv, but unfortunately we live in uncertain times as the lockdown in Israel has been extended.


As a result we have to stay in the kibbutz for another two weeks. Must is

of course a strong word. Life is wonderful here in the kibbutz. We live in a totally

secluded bubble, almost the opposite of the Amsterdam South bubble where I am

always lived in. We do not notice anything here of the virus or of the outside world at all.

Everyone is having a good time.

Lockdown or no lockdown, life in the kibbutz continues. The olives must be

picked, the laundry must be done and the cars need to be thoroughly scrubbed. We work three days a week from 8 to 12. After work we get peulot (informal

education) about Israel, life in the kibbutz and the military. In addition we get Jahadoet,

given by Dotan and Awital our fantastic madrichim (counselors).


In addition to the regular residents, we are also accompanied by 40 South Americans and about 40 Israelis our age in the kibbutz. Life in a kvutza (group)

is special. It is an entanglement of different cultures, while at the same time

having a lot in common.


Due to the lockdown, unfortunately it was not possible to go to shul with the high

Holidays. Nevertheless, we still celebrated everything. We even heard the special sounds of

the Shofar: Tekiah Gedolah. With the South Americans we have a Kol Nidre

service.


This togetherness, the prayers with often different melodies and conversations we will never forget . Because it gets dark earlier in Israel (due to daylight savings time) we have to get up a few hours earlier, and we were able to catch up more than two hours earlier than our families in the Netherlands.


Unfortunately, all food in the kibbutz supermarket had been sold out for days and we have

whole grain corn flakes, pasta without tomato sauce and rice cakes. It's interesting and

nice to see how everyone has different traditions regarding the chagim (holidays). The kibbutz members have the habit of barbecuing on Yom Kippur, they start

early in the morning with the preparations for it.

We have our own Sukkah built, with a wall made of flags. All week we have in the

Soeka eaten and especially sang a lot.


At the beginning of November, I am temporarily leaving the group for an army program for two months at a base in Sde Boker. I am really looking forward to this, but at the same time I will miss everyone in the kibbutz, the group - my new friends.

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