Shnat Ma’ayan 20th Nov 2015

This week has been a week of mixed emotions. As it is our last week on Lotan we have all been taking in the time to appreciate the land around us. We have been so lucky to have this past month living in such a beautiful place. From the expanse of desert to the mountains to the stars at night, we have been surrounded by such natural beauty. A privilege that we will greatly miss when we return to city life.

Nevertheless, there has been much excitement over the move to Karmiel. In a rather long but productive asefa (gathering/ group assembly) we put together a luz (schedule) for how we wanted to spend our evenings together in Karmiel. Each evening of the week was allocated a particular activity such as kef, ma’amadim and a social action evening. We also allocated the flat splits, which although it will be difficult to no longer live together as a full k’vutsa is an exciting change.

A further emotion was thrown into the mix following the Paris terror attacks on Friday evening. This brought much sadness. We all gathered together in the evening to hold a sharing circle. Each person was able to share their thoughts and feelings over what had happened. It sounds strange to call this a special moment of shnat given the topic that was being discussed. However, the fact that a group of 18 year olds, without prompting, decided to come together to support one another and provide a safe space to express how they were feeling was a very important moment for us all.

So this week we have felt excited but also nervous about moving to Karmiel, sad but also united given current world events and also very very happy following the introduction of our closing circle to finish off every day. Each evening, before we all go to bed we gather together in a circle and sing the Shema and Hashkiveinu. Mid-way through the week we decided to leave the guitars in our domes and do it acapella. I can honestly say that for many of us this is the highlight of our day. At the end of singing Haskiveinu we all keep humming the tune whilst people have the opportunity to say what they are grateful for. It is a truly magical way to end the day and a tradition that I hope we continue for the remainder of shnat.

That’s all for this week folks see you all next week in Karmiel!

Sophie Peterman