Day 19: Hikes, Archaeology and Farewells

By: Michelle

Today we began the day hiking up Tel Azaka and having our tefillah there. The walk to Tel Azaka was very hot and there were many bugs but it was an amazing opportunity. Not soon after we continued walking up Tel Azaka, our tour guide Hillary told us the story of David and Goliath right above the valley where the story took place. The valley was called Emeck Ha‘aylah.

After they storytelling, we got back on the bus and we got ready for an archeological dig at Tel Maraysha. We were given pickaxes to dig around with and almost all of us found something in the cave it was mostly pottery from 2200 years ago. Whilst we were looking for artifacts in the cave we would also pick up the dirt that we looked through and we put it all in buckets. Once we finished our dig we all got in a line all the way up the stairs and passed up the buckets one by one. By the time we finished bringing all the buckets up the stairs we were all covered in dirt, but we still weren’t done, we still needed to sift through all of the dirt. And to our surprise there was so much that we missed, pottery, glass, animal bones and shells from the games that the people used to play. After we completed the dig we headed into another cave, this cave had many little passage ways, and it had absolutely no light besides little candles every 5 feet or so.  We had to crawl through little entrances that were as small as a car window. This cave had hundreds of holes in the walls that were about 1.5 feet long and 1 foot wide. We learned that that cave was used for holding pigeons and doves for food, sacrifices and their poop, which was used for fertilizer for the olive trees. After we finished with the caves, we were able to choose pottery that we wanted to keep. Before we got back on the bus we were given a “surprise” which ended up being ice cream.


***Note from Rabbi Ben:  For our final dinner, we went to an Israeli grill restaurant where we sang, caroused, reminisced and ate obscene amounts of food.  The students are now packing and getting ready to cry themselves to sleep.


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