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Yom Shishi, 11 Sivan 5778
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11 September 2016

Temple Student Experiences First Shabbat in Israel

By Rabbi Ethan Prosnit

We are so excited to introduce our guest blogger Marissa Steiner. Marissa was confirmed this past year and she has chosen to spend her first semester in Israel with the Reform Movement's EIE program. http://nftyeie.org/. Throughout the semester Marissa will be sharing some of her experiences and reflections on the program!

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“Shalom from Jerusalem!  My name is Marissa Steiner and I am an 11th grader from Springfield, and the PVP of TEWTY this year. I am so appreciative of our Temple's support of my semester in Israel (4 months) with NFTY-EIE!

Last week I spent my first Shabbat in Israel at the Kotel. Arriving at the wall, my EIE friends and I participated in our group T'filah while admiring the wall. Later, we had the opportunity to go up to the Western Wall and pray, and put in our notes. Seeing all the people pray differently and fill the wall with notes of their prayers as we walked away with our backs never facing the wall, I felt a part of a bigger community. Dressing in long skirts and conservative clothing isn't really my forte, but experiencing Shabbat at the Kotel made it all worth it. As the day grew darker and it became time to return back home, my friends and I stood in pure admiration as the whole city stopped to pray together for Shabbat. It was something I had never seen before, and truly special. The more time I spend here in Israel at Kibbutz Tzuba, the more it feels like home. With that being said, Shabbat ShaHome!”

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