At 7:00am, we started our last full day in Israel at a beautiful Tunisian Synagogue. We prayed at the synagogue and enjoyed the vivid colors from the stain glass windows and the various mosaic images that covered both the floor and the walls. The synagogue was unlike any other place because it captured countless crucial moments in the Jewish religion through bright mosaics. We couldn't imagine the amount of time and dedication it took to create this incredible synagogue. Then we headed to Mitzpeh Habirim, a farm in Galilee, which is one of the most northernmost points of the whole country. All of the 8th Grade had the honor to spend our last day in Israel helping not ourselves, but others. We worked hand in hand with both boys and girls that ranged in ages from 12-15. Together, all of us helped during the Dallas Federation sponsored afternoon as we moved rocks, trees, gates and more. The job was tough, but the end result was definitely worth it. Many of us created new friendships with the kids in our age group and we felt a sensation of connection to the land of Israel after doing a mitzvah as one big community. Thereafter, we split up into teams and had a stew cook-off. Some of us were preparing meats or slicing onions, and others were learning how to make Israeli salad. When we were done helping at Mitzpeh Habirim, we drove even farther North to Rosh Hanikra.
Rosh Hanikra is an amazing place composed of beautiful grottoes that kept us of gasping throughout every second of the short hike as we saw the most gorgeous color blue that made up the water in the caves before us. As the sun was slowly setting, we made our last stop on the beach to witness a breathtaking sunset. We watched as the sun slowly fell on the water and changed the whole sky before our eyes. At that moment, all of us genuinely felt and saw Israel's beauty. We all dipped our feet in the water one last time and headed out to the final dinner of our 2018 Levine Academy Vogel Marx 8th Grade Israel Trip.
Our final dinner in Israel was great! We had hummus and pita, various meats, an assortment of vegetables, and a delicious dessert. Although it may seem normal to some, many of us were touched to hear people singing "Happy Birthday," in Hebrew out in public. Most of us could not believe or comprehend that we were actually hearing people sing songs in Hebrew at a restaurant in Israel, which for us, only happens at Levine. We instantly joined in to celebrate and not only to wish someone a happy birthday, but to also show our appreciation for the country of Israel that continues to speak the Hebrew language. Once we all finished dinner, we headed back to the hotel to pack, shower, and say our goodbyes to Israel.
We spent the evening talking about our unique experiences throughout the trip, discussing what we can now bring home and teach to our families and friends, instead of just remembering the trip. We played games, talked, and slowly began to anticipate the difficult goodbye that we all must say to our homeland. As we boarded the bus at 12:30am, we began to sing some of our favorite Israeli songs and recall this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity. As we prepared to leave Israel, Kobi (our tour guide) moved us with words of wisdom and truth: he said "There is no Hebrew word for goodbye. There has never been a word that means you will never come back. There are only words in the language that mean, 'see you soon.'" So today none of the eighth graders ended up saying "goodbye" to Israel, only "see you soon."