I'd love to give you just a few snapshots into my world over the past 2 weeks...
Last week our grouped stayed on a Kibbutz (more or less a self-sustaining Jewish community). We offered our services in return for food and shelter. Me and some other friends worked with the cows which consisted of a 6am wake-up call and a can-do attitude. Much to our surprise the first day working around the farm we were whisked away to witness the birth of a calf. Ow. The Kibbutz members fittingly named the tiny heifer "emu." Pretty exciting aside from the fact that it was a male cow which loosely translates into beef, better than veal I guess.
Shabbat is no joke around these parts. Shabbat is the Christian equivalent of the Sabbath. Unfortunately our Sunday's don't end up looking too different from the rest of the week. But here, Jews (both observant and non observant) begin preparing for Shabbat (Saturday) on Friday night. They cook all the meals they will need for the next day and once it's sun down they aren't allowed to drive, write, or even turn on a light.
We also are currently in the Jewish festival of Passover. Passover is when the Jews remember being brought out of slavery in Egypt and into the promise land. Tradition holds that no sliver, crumb, or even morsel of leavened bread is allowed to be within the house, alluding to their ancestors rush to leave Egypt. Jews all over purge their house of pita, cereal, crackers, anything with yeast. They completely clear out the house and sweep every corner, wash windows, clean in between books. It's nuts. Observing the Jewish lifestyle has taught me just as much as being lectured on it.
We are now currently living in Nazareth. Our studies are now talking about the Jesus Movement which is cool because Jesus spent 90% of His life here. We are volunteering in Nazareth Village which is a mock town of 1st Century living. It's complete with a well, wine press, watchtower, oil press, synagogue, and 1st century home. And best of all, when we work there we get to dress is 1st century garb. I don't have a plug to upload pics here but you can check out Nazareth Village Photos if you're dying to see.
We also have a photo team on the trip that uploads pictures to the EMU website if you want to check them out - EMU Cross Cultrual Albums
Our trip is definitely on the downhill. I still have a lot to see and learn but I'm already so looking forward to seeing everyone back home and talking face to face. Love y'all!