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World on a Shoestring A beginnger's guide to traveling around the world...as written by beginners...

L'Chaim L'Chaim!!

ISRAEL | Wednesday, 3 January 2007 | Views [1068]

What an experience. For so many years, since I was very young, I've learned so much about the Jewish religion, people, and culture. There are so many things that I know only because I have been required to learn them, with no foundation or relativity. Having now visited Israel, everything I've learned has context, meaning, and depth. I am a Jew because i choose to be, and am proud to be one. My failing powers of description fall short in trying to describe what it feels like to be somewhere and feel absolute about your belonging. I dare say it is not a feeling I get in The States.

10 days on a bus, 18 hours a day of movement, and I'm experiencing a new level of exhaustion. Four hours of sleep a night does not positively condition the body, nor does regular partying in lieu of sleep. But I woudn't change it if I did it all over again. I was fortunate enough to see an amazing country with an amazing group of people.

Every experience, every location visited, every meal eaten, i was there, notebook in hand, recording everything. As soon as I transcribe all the notes and turn this mass of dough into a tangible article, i'll post all the words and pics you'll need to feel like you were right there with us. Oh, and please note that occassionally I'll include some Hebrew words in my blog. Please understand that I do my best to transliterate these, and they are mostly spelled phonetically. thanks.

One final thought, inspired by Sharee's comment.  Prior to this trip, I was apprehensive about traveling with a group dominated by a Chabbad house.  My experiences in the past with Chabbad houses have been less than positive, exacerbating my apprehension. But, lo-and-behold, my opnions have been formatted, and I have a new found respect and friendship with Chabbad (at least, let's say, the UC Chabbad house).  What a great group of guys and girls, and it goes without saying that this trip would not and could have been what it was without Rabbi Yitzi.  Color me reformed.

Tags: Philosophy of travel

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