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Sunday, June 18, 2006

Birthright...Again

So, I'm getting really bad about blogging. I just have so little time to write. As much as I like writing here, and getting feedback, it is one of the first things in my life to take the back burner when I get busy.

In this post I want to talk about birthright, yes again. It has been the subject of many a post in the recent past. It was also the subject of an article I wrote that was recently published in Esra magazine and will hopefully be published in The Bridge magazine in the near future. I'll dedicate a post to that soon (no promises though as these promises seem to only get broken).

[Don't know what birthright is? Get up to speed with some past posts:]
[Birthright Israel- Shorashim- Winter 2005-2006]
[Shorashim]


I was sent on birthright again as a soldier from the 8th-18th. The second time around it is very different from the the first. While it was still an eye opening experience, this time, having experienced many of the activities already, I approached them with the attitude of trying to stimulate certain ways of thinking. As opposed to last time, I came to these activities with certain opinions already formed. With that said, every group has its own dynamic and makes you look at certain things in a completely different light. If I could, I would go on this trip over and over just to hear more people's opinions on the importance of marrying Jewish or of not compromising on Jerusalem in exchange for peace. I can't express how much I love debating these subjects with intelligent youth.

When I returned from the first trip I felt a stronger connection to Israel and Zionism and a less strong connection to Judaism as a religion. I don't feel this trip pushed me in any particular direction on either issue. Upon returning from this trip I feel the strong desire to get involved in teaching these subjects. I feel like I want to explore these subjects with people on these trips as a madrich (councilor). My staff from this trip told me they would write me a letter of recommendation for when I will hopefully apply for the position upon my completion of the army next year.

I can't stress enough how important I think the birthright program is and how strongly I feel about it. I want to continue being a part of it. I think I have a lot to offer to it and a lot to gain from it. I think we all do.

Ok, enough babble about the importance of the trip and my emotions. I just want to mention a few of the highlights of the trip for me:

  • Rappelling at the Ramon Crater
  • Swimming in the Jilaboon waterfall
  • The "Mega Event"
  • Yelling my lungs out at "boot camp"
  • Drinking "Taco Taco"- "The taste of real Mexican tequila"
  • Sleeping in the Bedouin tent + Camel ride

5 Comments:

At 8:14 AM, June 26, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strongfully????????

 
At 10:34 PM, June 26, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Well it's good to see that someone picks up on my typos. I was beginning to think that no one was reading this!

An English teacher I will not be. The more times I read that over in my head, the more I convinced myself that strogfully was actually a word! From now on, I strongfully encourage you all to use words I make up.

Sometimes I wonder how I got in to Columbia...but in my defense, I was sick, on no sleep and it was late...Not buyin it?

 
At 6:39 AM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Ben. I agree with your feelings of the importance of birthright. Hearing your opinions will be a valuable part of anyone's Israel experience. Good Luck becoming a madrich. How do you feel about compromising on Jerusalem? Blog some of your real thoughts! I'm interested at least...

 
At 5:21 PM, June 28, 2006, Blogger Cori/Shoshana said...

you know, i didn't really like the mega event, but i think that it was because i really wanted peretz to say something political :)

glad you had a great time, as did i. i'm making aliyah on 9/2, and to support your point that birthright is incredibly important: 2 people from my trip are joining me in october :)

hope all is well!

 
At 11:55 PM, July 02, 2006, Blogger Ben said...

Anon #2: Thanks for the kind wishes. As for my thoughts on Jerusalem, let me think about it and get back to you with a post devoted to it.

Shoshana: Glad you had a great time. Goodluck and congrats on the final date!

 

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