S: SENIOR TRIP 2009
FC: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Senior Trip
1: On November 17th, 2009, eighteen wide-eyed, excited seniors embarked to Israel on the trip of a lifetime. Many of their experiences were too radical, astonishing, and sassy to ever be communicated to the world. Until now. These are their chronicles...
2: IAH to TEL | Zabelshansky Log: Its hard to stay faithful when you're on the road. Even with the best intentions, I still managed to meet her. Her name was Kendra and she was a lucsious (sp?) temptress. I don't want to sully this page with all the details, but let's just say the plane suffered some serious turbulence. | Dearest Seniors, Wed. 11/18/09 We just arrived in Israel! But before we could actually be here, there were some complications... It may or may not have began with some questionable meat on a stick (who wouldn't eat something potentially harmful if presented on a stick?) , but at least 25% of our class was sick at one point. Despite the nauceous (sp?) feeling in our stomaches, we did nt refrain from ordering a nine course Chinese meal to be eaten on the airport floor. Unfortunately, on the plane, we were seated next to a cruel, grumpy man who grimaced at us every time we made him stand up. However, once again, we did not let our unfortunate circumstances deter us. Our determination to play in the aisles led us to literally leap over our obstacles. Let us not forget Matthew's sudden upchuck on the airport floor. We better get back to doing Ben's stew dance! Get ready for the trip of your lives! -Shosh and Anna- | nothin' like Chinese for the upset stomach
3: feeling much better :) | Dear Journal (or Seniors), Wed. 11/18/09 Didn't we have an interesting first day on our long trip to the "holy land". Now I know that if you have food poinsoning you shouldn't have anything carbonated or it will only remain in your system for a few hours before it is sent back up. That was only the flight to Newark. Once I got on the plane for Israel I really fel like I might feel better. Well that didn't end up happening. As Ben would put it: I hit rock bottom when I started dry heaving. But with the help of Jesus and Peggy, a nice Christian woman from the flight, I would get better. Yet again I would not be fully better until Thursday. I had gone 30+ hours with no food and this has been one of the most uncomfortable trips ever! With much love, Daniel Huvard P.S. To George my donkey, though you might have been a little crazy, you were still the best. Don't stop chasing ass and you will eventually get some. | wishing you had one of those waffles, Daniel?
4: a toast to senior trip! | Dear Journal, Wed. 11/18/09 OH YA! I officially can say that "I did it on a donkey". We had a lot of fun experiencing what it was like in the Messianic times by dressing up, looking cute, and eating some grub. Of course we couldn't miss a great picture opportunity so we took some awesome frolicking pictures in the grass. Our donkey ride ended up turning into a race which was basically asking for problems. Some donkeys just could not listen to directions, like mine who ate everything in sight. All was ok until Boris (my donkey) started spazzing and running to fast. Its obvious what happens next because it was so typical me to fall off the donkey. I am just the classic "that guy..." I am that guy to fall off the donkey, I am that guy to want everything, and I am the guy with all the problems (as depicted by my awesome hat). The evening finished with a nice sunset over the Kineret accompanied with a stoic toast to the greatest class of all time. Words cannot describe how much I love this class and how excited I am to be on such an incredible adventure as this. Let's kick donkey and have the best time EVA! -Avi | Dear Avi's Face, Can't wait till we meet again -Shosh's hand
5: Speaking of yesterday, we went to Mt. Hermon. Yoni pooped in his pants on the way up and Anna said it would take 10 days to hike it. Avi parkoured too far by shaking the whole ski lift. We then did an awesome alpine slide EXTREME and the guy hated our guts. Then we went on The Boat. -Allison - -Allison | Dear Diary, 11/19/09 Well its day 3 and so far its been pretty great. Shosh has taken over the microphone and the only way we'll be getting that back is prying it out of her dead hand. Oops, that was creepy. Yesterday we went on THE Boat. Yeah, that's right, not a boat, THE Boat. Me and Allison made some predictions about each person on the trip's level of enthusiasm on the boat and they all came true. Shosh, Anna, and Avi= super into it. Allison+ Rebecca= not so much. Avi tried to escape his destiny of loving the boat but he just couldn't help himself and five minutes into the ride he was dancing in the center of the circle. Allison's pimple popping business is open and the customers are flocking- Yuck. Signing off for now, Rebecca (a.k.a. becca all over again) | Predictions about dancing coming true | Poor Yoni!
6: 11/20/09 Shalom Y'all, Today we are going to Zefat, Tzfat, Sefad, ect.. enough said. It is filled with synagogues and blue everywhere. Very pretty, but idk how fun it will be. The eggs were really salty this A.M. And now ima vomit. Tootles! -AB, Blumy, Anna | Tis getting closer to the Holy Sabbath and a few things have happened: 1.We toured Tzfat, beautiful 2. We toured Tzfat more 3. And continued to tour Tzfat until we met the AMAZING Avraham Lowenthal who inspired us through his love of Kabbalah. "Come on, a name with 4,000 years of energy man!" 4. Free time and lunch. We got "La-Chooch" or "Lachokolkoh" AND Shwarma im lafa! 5. Met up with Eli Levy! 6. Now, on the bus on the way to Kibbutz Lavi. Can't wait to see the seniors who are coming to stay with us! <3 Anna
7: Dear Diary, 11/20 After waking up at the crack of dawn this morning from Geveret Gadot yelling "Bananot" in our ears, we prayed to our holy lord and ate a ton of breakfast. We ascended to the bus and departed on our tiyul to Tzfat. When we arrived in Tzfat, we visited many synagogues and went to a recently uncovered building. We then heard a Kabalah artist Avraham (Robert) speak and he was A-A-Amazingg and A-Awesomee. We then were given money to go buy food. Two hours later and Atara and Allison still dont know where to go. Finally! they discovered a hole in the wall Shwarma in Lafa and had the most satisfying meal EVA. Then we met the love of our life Asaph (who works at the body piercing place). Atara diahread in her pants as she got her cartilage pierced and shortly after talking for only five minutes he gave us the key to his bedroom- SO ROMANTIC <3 <3 It was love at first sight. Sadly we had to leave since our breath stank from Shawarma from Rafi's and we decided ICE COFFEE HERE WE COME! Unfortunately the lady smoked in our coffee and put carrots in it (no lie) therefore making it taste like doody. Now we are on our way back to Kibbutz Lavi. XOXO gossip girls aka Diamond but you can call me Shakie aka Atara and Allison aka Simba and Nala P.S. Someone *cough Yoni * stole Allison's Havdala candle and has yet to return it P.S.S. Hanna we miss you and love you and bought you a rubber ducky! BAM! THAT IS ALL (Asian Voice) | yuck! | Barry, stop wearing your puke- infested sweatshirt.Thanks.
8: Who ever thought Rebs would suck at Geography? | Dear 11/21/09 SEN10Rs, What a memorial Shabbat that was! I am debating to choose what my favorite experience was: Seeing last year's seniors, people taking advantage of the Kiddush, cracking jokes outside, our late night convos, the kuzitz, or sitting outside our rooms and chilling. We (most of us) woke up late (as usual) for shul and had a delicious lunch. That was probably Rabbi P's few Dvar Torahs that no one fell asleep in! Fellow Seniors, Thanks for making it a Shabbat we can all remember.I can't wait to experience my first time in Israel with all my friends! Matthew Sarafzadeh | Avi, why are you in boxers on R Pollak's bed?!?!
9: Dear Mishpachat Hillel, 11/21/09 All I can say is WOW! Y'all went out of your way with the BBQ/ games/ campfire/ everything else. In summary, the event was strangely coordinated, and I managed to forget to warn everyone of your awesome craziness. I still love you guys even though yall stalked me all night. The wine was me'od ta'im even though we are confused of why we could drink again after the "Friday Night Incident". Whatevs it was awesome and a great way to end the night after Josh got us lost in the barbed wire wilderness. Love, Allison Renee P.S. try not to kill us with the games next time! | PS We were visited by Matan, Chen, and a yogurt model
10: Sent via my iPod touch: Well Journal, I guess I couldn't avoid you forever...so here it goes: things that happened on 11/22/09 | Tzipori: Jeffrey, Shosh, and I camp up with the amazing idea to take a picture on top of a water tower!(1) Har Arbel: -Barry got into a fight with some "anger management"(2) kids over some chips and male genitalia -Shosh turned tig for a very attractive blonde Israeli(3) -Avi lost Shosh's camera...(4) Kiwi Farm/ Soldier Boys: -we see a Ketush rocket(5) -In honor of our birthdays, Esti and I planted our very own kiwi tree -We met combat engineer soldiers(6) I can't say much else about them for fear of this journal being stolen by Hezbolah.. | Rashi (1) Barry tried to copy us, but he just wasn't cool enough (2) direct quote from G. Gadot (3)and this isn't the first time: the waiter, Sasson, Dovie and Rebs (4)this is OK bcz he ran for his life to find it (5)Rev Ben explains it is Chuck Norris' cigar (6) "they blow shit up!"-Josh | -Jesse B.
11: SASSON!! | Barry, what a poser
14: 11/23/09 Anticipating a lonely elevator ride I wait for the door to close. Suddenly, a Singapore woman walks in. She talks to me and asks if I am an engineer here. Well, I'm not! I told her I'm on my senior trip. She then wanted me to take a picture of her next to some award @ Kibbutz Lavi.Well 1 picture turned into many. That was the morning. We then went to Bar Kochva's cave which was hot, dark, and a tight fit. After, we went to some Palmach museum and it was just a little tiring. After lunch at a park which included a golf cart bike and "pastrami" or turkey sandwiches. We then proceeded to go to some Israeli independence thing. How can I summarize that? Zzzz...! After we went to the Na Laga'at place. It is very cool and it's a place for blind and deaf ppl. The blackout restaurant was...DARK! We made different pottery thingies, and Shosh slapped Avi again. After we chacked in and went off to different ways. Some had family picking them up, others went to the beach, and others stayed @ the hostile. After the bike accident, some ppl went to get some Prigat tut/banana. After we went to rooms &saw a fire & mingled w/ visitors outside. -Yoni | golf cart...FAIL!
15: 11/24/09 We started off another early day going to Jerusalem. The day started with free time around the Jewish Quarter. Then we headed to the city of David for the water tunnel tours. A lot of people were scared including me, but after the first step into the freezing water, I got used to it, and it was a fun experience. After that we hiked up ramps and stairs in the rain to get back up near the Jewish Quarter. We split up for school visits, but our visit to Harova didn't happen because they couldn't find out where the person who was supposed to take us around was. So we walked around the quarter and went to a nice cafe. Later we met for the Kotel tunnels. The Kotel tunnels were very interesting and full of new excavations. We ended our day with a nice visit to the Kotel which was the first visit for some people. Then we headed back to the bus to drive back to the hostile ending a busy, but nice day. -Hannah Klein | N-n-no Nachman! | Ditched by Harova... | Jenga Loser!
16: 11/25/09- Esti Brookhim At the stroke of midnight I was surprised with two beautiful baloons reading "Yom Huledet Sameach, Esti" :)! WOO! I was finally 18 and legal in Israel! I would now introduce myself saying, "Hi! I'm Esti, and I'm 18!" Anyways we then went to sleep bla bla bla.. woke up for breakfast where I was surprised with a box full og goodies. BOREKAS.PASTRIES.YUMM. We then continued on our journey ro find each and everyone's destines seminary/yeshiva/year course. BUT before that we stopped at the Begin Center. There everyone...slept. From there we all went separate ways with groups to check out different places. Personally, I went with Allison, Anna, Ben, Daniel, Avi, and Gadoty to check yearcourse out. It was definitely competition. They even bought us pizza for lunch! woo! We also saw Raquel Grosman (blast from the past). From there, Jesse and Jeffrey met up with us to go check out Bar Ilan's Israel Experience (SUCKED!) hile Anna and Allison stayed there and later went...somewhere else. Bar Ilan was quite upsetting since I was actually interested more or less in the program. I was ugly..'nough said. From there I left the group to go meet up with family- some funny stories cme up on the way. I ran into 2 Hipol Yerushalayim bball players and got their sutographs and I ran into the Mirwis family. I got back to out youth hostel 10 minutes before curfew to find most everyone there messing around and talking about different seminaries that they visited. Now its naptime since we are waking up at 2 AM for MASADA! | Shosh's future | Burger's Bar! | Being inappropriate with Rabbi Pollak... what's new?
17: Joseph Gomez 11/26/09 Waking up at 2a.m. is never exciting, but today I, along with my entire class, was going to hike up Masade. After sleeping through the entire bus ride, I exited the bus only being able to see the border of the mountain in the darkness. I ballsed up, grabbed Dovi, then told Joshy "I'll meet you at the summit!" As morning drew near, the steps snaking up the mountain became more visible. Fatigue began to set in halfway up so Dov and I removed our shirts. We were just two shirtless guys with a pink backpack climbing up a mountain. We reached the top pretty quickly so we had time to spare while the rest of the group inched their way up in a snake-like fashion. We began discussing the tough and grueling hike the soldiers atop the mountain had to endure. They had hiked for over 40 miles- something that seems impossible on paper. But like our hike, when your best friend is by your side, anything is possible. | thank you to the class of 2010 for giving me 12 days off the army -Ori Gorss
18: Zabelshansky log 11/27/09 So on Friday we essentially brought our whole trip to a halt. Where before we we were looking forward and navigating through exciting tourist destinations, on Friday we took time to put our love for Israel into a very somber perspective, by looking into the past. Yad Vashem was our first stop. I had been to many Holocaust museums, but never one with such architectural meaning. Yad Vashem begins with a large screen portraying shtetl life before Hitler's rise to power. As we progressed through the museum, we discovered that as we stared back, we could no longer make out the faces of those in the screen at the beginning. As we left the brutal displays of Yad Vashem we saw "the light at the end of the tunnel", a beautiful view of Jerusalem. | fun at Machaneh Yehuda before Shabbat | CANDY!!
19: 11/28-29/09 Even though it was our last Shabbat together in Israel, it was still a great one. Eladi and Yonit Reich came and so did Yair and Ori. After everyone finished getting ready for Shabbos, we started walking to the Kotel to daven. When we got to the Kotel it was PACKED! Everyone was dancing and praying. We joined with a group of soldiers to daven Kabalat Shabbat and Maariv. It was very eventful! We eat dinner at the hostile and then have an oneg. Josh brought us yummy Rogulech and crembo. We discussed our best experiences and played some classic improv games. Wake-up Shab morning was 730, but of course no one woke up on time. Some people went to Shira Chadasha, but I went to the Great Synagogue and was really impressed! We had lunch and free time and Rabbi Pollak took some boys to check out Netiv Aryeh. We go into our final circle to discuss commitments, achievements, and experiences. After Shabbos, we pack, order pizza and say our goodbyes. We also had the best bus driver who made a U-turn on A ONE WAY STREET. What a great ending! -Tani Pollak | turning on a one way street.. really?
20: You know you're on senior trip 2009 when.... -wine is available an inappropriate number of tmies -Jesse's body has become your Avodah Zara -"sassy", "casual", and "stoic" are integral parts of your vocab -making fun of someone with Tourette's has become widely accepted -memories of meat on a stick still evoke fear -you visited at least 3 yeshivot/seminaries that you would never consider attending -seeing/being followed by old classmates is no longer surprising -"Retreat 09" makes any homosexual action acceptable -"Bananot" has evolved from fruit to a cute nickname given by Gadoty -there's no point of even wearing a skirt -the microphone is your personal heroine -you're still wondering why there was a ferret on Mrs. Segal's hat -it still pisses you off that Joseph won't do "The Schlueter" -your fist in Ben's mouth has officially confirmed his lack of gag reflex -you now know that wearing boxers in R. Pollak's bed is NOT ok. -you live for Tut Banana -
21: -the Stew Dance never gets old -you wil never forget Ori and Allison's goodbye -you have a random cuddle buddy on the bus -the sight of green uniforms and large guns sends you running the boys pack more than the girls, but the girls eat more than the boys -you feel bad for Avi because now he can only consume 30 pancakes -people give you weird looks because you're with a girl in a onesie -you order pastrami, and get turkey "Shalom Aleichem" becomes your #1 hit -you witnessed the transference of Rabbi Pollak's dvar torah obsession to his new hobby of videoing EVERYTHING -you "Did it on a..." anything possible -you have discovered that golf carts are definitely not as exciting as they look -you have fallen in love with Israel, your classmates, and, of course, SOLDIERS.