Yom Shishi, 11 Sivan 5778
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17 October 2016

A Student's Yom Kippur in Jerusalem

Enjoy reading the latest news from our guest blogger Marissa Steiner. 

"Experiencing Yom Kippur in Jerusalem for the first time was amazing. The whole city shuts down-nobody drives. Children, and even adults, fill the streets on scooters and bikes, as that becomes their only way of getting around. Call me crazy, but laying down with all my friends in the middle of the biggest intersection in Jerusalem with no worries or second thoughts was amazing.

Of course, services in Hebrew were pretty difficult to understand, but being welcomed into a bigger community with people we don't know during services were so meaningful. The people surrounding us seemed happy to have us join their family for services, and were so nice and helpful when they noticed how confused everyone was during the Rabbi's sermon (since it was in Hebrew).

Fasting with my 29 new best friends actually wasn't as difficult as I imagined. We all got through it together. When we felt dizzy and thought we couldn't make it through the rest of the day, all our friends were there for us, telling us that we weren’t alone and they were there to embrace and comfort us, but most importantly there to break the fast with us. Yom Kippur seemed so surreal here, yet it was everything I expected. I feel so lucky that I was able to experience Yom Kippur in Israel with my new family.

I wish all of you a Happy and Sweet New Year from Israel!"

Marissa Steiner, NFTY EIE High School in Israel 11th grader,
Programming VP of TEWTY

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