by Zach Stein (’17) and Aryeh Bienstock (’17)

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This week was the first week of this year’s MTA-Makor Chaim exchange program. From the moment that we stepped off the plane at Ben Gurion Airport and were greeted by Ashi Taragin, our wonderful Madrich, there was never a dull moment.

After davening, we began our touring with a visit to various places all aroundYerushalayim. First, we visited Yeshivat HaKotel where we tore k’riyah upon seeing the site of our destroyed Beis HaMikdash, in accordance with halachah. Next, we toured the old city, ending off our visit with a trip through the famous Kotel Tunnels, to the Machon HaMikdash museum, and finally the Kotelitself.

After that, we finally traveled to Yeshivat Makor Chaim, our home for the next several weeks, and began to adapt to the culture of the Yeshiva. During our first few days there, we slowly became acquainted with the unique and special environment present at Makor Chaim. After spending time singing, dancing, and learning with the Makor Chaim students, we began to feel at home in our Jewish homeland. Our schedule included chaburahs and singing with our madrichim,Menachem Weber (MTA Class of ’11) and Ashi. We also heard a Shiur from Rav Dov Singer, the Rosh Yeshiva, who taught us that true teshuvah requires a communal acceptance of the issue as well as brainstorming about practical solutions.

From learning to live in the dorms to getting adjusted to the style of learning, our first week in Makor Chaim was filled with great surprises and incredible new experiences.


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