Conflict & Hope: Days 2 and 3, Shabbat Shalom

For Shabbat we were given the opportunity to live with families in the West Bank. My family lived in a town called Tekoa. We were greeted at the bus by their two cute girls who walked us to their house. From there we were given the grand tour of the home, which was a lot bigger than many of the homes I’ve seen in Israel. Since Israel had to build so quickly to have homes for the waves of new immigrants a lot of the homes are small, look similar, and on top of on another. But not in Tekoa. Here people have larger homes and a lot of land. In case you’re not familiar with the area, think back to the news last year when Israel started building in areas that people didn’t think they should be building in. Hilary Clinton strongly advised them to put the building process on hold. Remember? This is where I spent my Shabbat.

Many people choose to live in the West Bank for ideological reasons, which was a big reason why the family I stayed with was living there. However, others, choose to live there simply because they work in Jerusalem but don’t want to live right in the city. The real estate is cheaper in the West Bank due to the safety of the area. Though when I was there I felt extremely safe, and also extremely at ease. There is a park in the neighborhood where the two daughters and son brought Whitney and I before Shabbat came.

After playing around we went back to their house to get ready. We put on nicer clothes, went to Friday night services, came home and had a lovely Shabbat meal. The home we were put in were vegetarians so I was really excited about the main dish of tofu and cauliflower. During, and after dinner we talked with the parents on why they chose to live in the West Bank.

The next day Whitney and I relaxed, ate a delicious Shabbat lunch, and relaxed some more. After the sun went down we said our goodbyes to the family, which wasn’t easy. The girls were sad to see us go, and we were sad to leave them. But we boarded back onto our bus anyway, said hello to fellow OTZMAnikim, and went back to the Judean Youth Hostel to get some sleep. As the next day was going to be a long one.


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