Yedidya Schechter (’19) & Sammy Cohen (’19)

DING !!! The seatbelt light turns on; getting ready for landing we all sit back and buckle-up. Apprehensive, nervous, excited, tired, jubilant, enthusiastic, eager- a whole rainbow of feelings bubbling up inside each of us, the MC11 (MTA students at Makor Chaim), mixed together with the thrill of re connecting with Eretz Yisrael. Ears popping, we have landed. After anxiously getting off the plane, and receiving our luggage we joined the Makor Chaim welcome committee to dance and sing in Terminal 3 of Ben-Gurion airport. The warm welcome committee consisted of a few Makor Chaim students, our Madrichim, a guitar, a drum and a saxophone; together we loaded the van and, yallah, we were off. With Israeli music playing in the background, we drove into the Old City ofYerushalayim to enjoy a wonderful dinner in Yeshivat Hakotel.

After dinner and some opening words from our madrichim, Shmuel Mirsky (mistakenly called Shlomo in last week’s issue), an MTA alumnus and alumnus of the Makor Chaim program nine years ago, and Yehuda Taragin, we walked down to the Kotel. We davened Maariv and then departed the majestic Old City for Kfar Etzion– the Kibbutz where Makor Chaim is located. When we arrived, many of the students were there to greet us with singing and dancing before we went to our rooms and finally (tried to) have a good night’s sleep. At 7 o’clock, we woke up for our first shacharit and to attend our first seder boker and shiur in the Yeshiva. After discussing deep concepts with the students and our Rebbeim, we had lunch and went on a trip to the Kfar Etzion museum, to learn more about the history of the place in which we are living. The next day we continued our chavruta learning, delving into the Gemara on a high level with Hebrew-speaking Israelis. Of course, there are the spontaneous songs and dances that burst out over the course of an average day, making Makor Chaim full of ruach. In addition to the high-level Gemara shiur, we began our general studies classes, including history, chemistry, math and English. On Thursday morning, we had the privilege of eating with and meeting Uriah and Avital Naor, our “Av and Eim Bayit,” our home-away-from-home parents in the Yeshiva. After a vigorous day of work and activities, we ended the day with mishmar and delicious chicken soup at midnight. This Shabbat we are going to Yeshivat Hakotel, once again, in the Old City, and will most probably have an amazing time- enjoying being with each other and davening at the kotel. Before we make our way to Yerushalayim on Friday, we will be going to Machon Tzomet and Alon Shvut for a fun tiyul. So far, just a couple of days in, coming to Makor Chaim has been incredible. Packed with making new Israeli friends, geshmak ruchnius and fun tiyulim, all the aspects are what will make this program a life changing experience.



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