Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Limmud is a Co-ed, experiential, 9-month study and Israel immersion program for the Southern Hemisphere. The program aims to develop 5 circles of “identity” including: Jewish, Zionist, Spiritual, Communal & Personal. Within this framework, participants spend time at Yeshiva/Midrasha, and experience Israel with a wide array of activities and educational modules, as well as a meaningful journey to Poland. Limmud culminates with a 3-month collaborative with our Mechina Olamit, together with Israelis, and participants from the Northern Hemisphere.
This week Limmud started the Machon Period of the program. The week was titled "Masa MeBereshit" - a journey through the history of the Jewish nation. The idea was to allow the chanichim to have a hands on extensive history lesson. The group left the classroom behind and each day got on a bus to experience our nation's history first hand. The week was guided by Yael Hezi, from the leadership institute in Kiryat Moriah. Each chanich/a received a digital journal for the week, allowing them to read and learn more about the times periods we discussed that day and to express how they felt throughout the journey. After our free weekend, we met for a short orientation and then we headed out to Shiloh. In Shiloh we learned about our forefathers, until the arrival of Bnei Yisrael in Israel with focus on Shiloh, where they built the Mishkan. We got to see the archeological site where the Mishkan once was. The chanichim had never been there before making the experience even more special.
On Monday the group went to The City of David. They learned about the period of the First Temple and all the complexities and beauty that surround the story of David. They then continued to The Bible Lands museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the history of the Ancient Near East from a biblical perspective. The day concluded with Limmud's madrichim leading a processing session. The chanichim got the chance to process all they had learned till that point and look forward to the rest of the journey ahead.
We returned to the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday and walked from Sha'ar Yafo (Jaffa Gate) through the Jewish quarter to the Churva synagogue. Yael gave over the history of the Jewish people in the time of the Second Temple, and she explained the difference between the rich and the poor, the Priests and the Zealots, the siege on Jerusalem and eventually the "Churban" that brought destruction to Jerusalem and the Beit Hamikdash. We continued to the Kotel (Western Wall) Tunnels, we toured the insides, and got as close as you can today to Kodesh HaKodashim (The Holy of Holies). From there we continued to The Burnt House in the Jewish Quarter. We heard first hand from the son of the Kathros family about the destruction of the Second Temple. We saw the ruins of their home that once was and truly connected to the time period and the history of our people. We finished the day with a private screening of Legend of Destruction, which is a new movie that is shown through thousands of paintings done to tell the story of the Jewish revolt against Rome which ended with the destruction of the Temple.
Wednesday the group went to Masada, continuing our history lesson at the castle King Herod built after the Romans overtook Judea. The group discussed the battle advantages of Masada, why King Herod had decided to build there, and about the Jews from Judea that took over Masada and the tragic end of their fight against the Roman Empire. The chanichim took time trying to comprehend and understand the actions of the Jew's of Masada. They finished the day at the Dead Sea, where they got to relax and cool off from the desert sun.
On Thursday the group went up north to Zippori, which was once the capital of the Galilee, the seat of the Sanhedrin and the place where the Mishna was completed. They saw the old synagogue with the beautiful mosaic floor, the Roman theatre, and much more while discussing Zippori as the center of Jewish religious and spiritual life in the Land of Israel. The day once again concluded with Limmud's madrichim leading a processing session. They spoke about the journey they had, how the Jewish nation rebuilt itself time and time again, where we see ourselves amongst them and how it affects us today.
Today they got to tour Jerusalem and hear about the untold stories of Jerusalem as they walked from the German Colony to the Mamilla Cemetery.
The next two weeks of Machon focus on leadership, activism, and Zionism in the present. The chanichim will hear and learn from many different speakers including Yom Aliya (Aliya Day) on Thursday.