Photos by Bentzi Sasson & Mendy Hechtman
Day 1 – SundayDay One of the JLI Land & Spirit trip to Israel was uplifting and inspiring. From the moment we touched down in Ben Gurion Airport on Monday morning momentum was building. We visited Neot Kedumin, the biblical landscape reserve where we saw Israeli efforts to recreate the trees and fruits of the Bible. The 7 Species of Israel, the 4 Species of the Lulov and Etrog and more, including an ancient Mikvah and Wine Press. The 450+ participants witnessed the thriving Campus Ohr Simcha in Kfar Chabad, a facility which houses and educates neglected and orphaned children and participated with the children in a model Matzah Bakery.
We then enjoyed our first Israeli lunch in Modi'in, home of Mattisyahu and the Macabees, where we were welcomed by Deputy Mayor and Brigadier General Shlomo Pazzy. We then traveled up the coast to explore the ancient ruins of the Roman city of Caesarea, built as they were destroying the 2nd Holy Temple. Yet here we are the descendants of the conquered walking on the ruins of the conqueror. A vivid reminder how Am Yisrael Chai!
The day concluded with dinner on the boardwalk in Tel Aviv overlooking the setting sun on the Mediterranean Sea with inspirational words from Chief Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau regarding the unbreakable bond between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel. A busy day concluded with checking into our hotels to get some rest in preparing for Day 2 of the JLI Land & Spirit.