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A Hike to Remember

The hike began in the early morning, but still a bit late in true Israeli fashion.

Josh and Naama enjoying nature

Josh and Naama enjoying nature

Slowly winding its way down through small Tzfat alleyways, our group slid from street to trail and found ourselves pushed off the road by a large van plastered with pictures of Rabbi Nachman. A bearded man dressed all in white, complete with a little white beanie, climbed the van to reveal two large speakers and proceeded to blast techno music. Spontaneously we broke into dance, mumbling along to the Hebrew verses encouraging us to be merry, for the next half an hour or so–and all this happened in the woods all before ten o’clock.

I can not think of any other place in the world besides Tzfat where something remotely similar to this could happen. Lucky for me I decided to spend my last two weeks in Israel volunteering at Livnot, which had such a profound impact on me earlier this year, because that was a once in a lifetime opportunity. But Livnot has given me so much more than a random nature techno party, and continues to influence the way I interact with the world.

Josh and some Livnoters preparing Words of Wisdom for Shabbat

Josh and some Livnoters preparing Words of Wisdom for Shabbat

Less than a year ago my Jewish identity was a bit vague; I was uncertain how Judaism would be a part of my adult life. The opportunity to discuss Jewish issues in a non-judgmental environment has helped me mold a personal relationship with Judaism that will keep evolving as I grow.

As my flight home looms, I have begun searching for ways to maintain my connection with the Jewish community. Besides telling every person I meet about the amazing experience I had at Livnot, I now have the opportunity to bring a little bit of Tzfat home. No matter how sad it is to leave Israel, I will forever be re-living those glorious weeks in Tzfat

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Meir Paltiel
Meir Paltiel
meir@livnot.com

Originally from Syracuse, NY, Meir received his BA in American History and Political Science from Tulane University and his MS in Resource Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. He arrived in Israel in 1992, served in the Nahal Infantry Unit before moving to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu. On Kibbutz, Meir was Assistant Manager of the... Read More