Now that I've said that, let me tell you about my experience in Meron, Israel for a crazy Lag B'Omer experience. It was out last organized in-shabbat (meaning staying on campus for shabbat) of the year, so many of us stayed to enjoy each other's presence on the Ramat Ef'Al campus for one last time. Lag B'omer was beginning Saturday night and we planned to head right to Meron as shabbat concluded. Meron, if you didn't know, is the sight of where Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is buried (the man of the holiday). Thousands upon thousands of people attend and it is just one huge celebration for what Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai represents.
So we leave the Ramat Ef'Al campus about an hour after Shabbat to head to Bnei Brak where every couple of minutes buses depart up to Meron. 50 shekels later, we got onto a bus (37 of us decided to go regardless of the warnings we got about it being super packed and getting pushed-and to not take the event as a representation of the Jewish people) and we were on our way. 2 1/2 hours later we arrive and we walk up mount Meron together to see one of the largest Jewish dancing crowds ever. There was a na nachman guy DJ playing crazy trance music and everyone was just jumping up and down. It was pretty religious and many more men were dancing than woman (and when we tried to dance a few woman yelled at us), but I didn't really care. The environment was making me feel part of something truly amazing.
We walked a little more to see even more large crowds of people. Then me and a few friends decided we wanted to attempt to enter the actual Kever (tomb) of R. Shimon (despite the masses of people). So we did just that and were exposed to something much more than people just praying towards the Kever. It was like a mob (and this was on the woman's side!) I felt like I was in a sardine can of chassidic woman! People were literally pushing their way through to either A-pray or B-go watch the crazy mob of men dance around the huge fire. Even though there were a few parts of the night where I couldn't breath due to lack of space for my lungs to move, I couldn't stop smiling. People were gathering, and sacrificing their personal comfort all for an amazing purpose. To attach themselves to the bigger picture.
|In Meron on Lag B'omer for the sun rise|
Anyways, the whole Meron experience was great-we arrived at 3 AM and left after we prayed to the rising sun around 8:30.
I turn 20 in 11 days, and this program ends shortly after it. I'm going to be writing a reflection of this year soon, but I don't want to yet. I'm still going through crazy life changes every day. For example, I've been challenging myself with an early b-day present to myself to practice being shomer negiah. I've done this before, and unfortunately failed, but I feel like I am stronger this time. I know that this journey, that my 19th year of life has endured has been very long, rigorous, but extremely rewarding. I feel empowered by the life choices I have made and cannot wait to see what my 20th year of life has to offer me.
I found it interesting that today's was Yesod Shebi-Yesod Foundation and foundation. Foundation is something that has come across my mind a lot lately. This year had been about building some sort of foundation, gaining some sort of knowledge that you can always look back into no matter what happens. Regardless of the mistakes or lessons I learned this year I know that I built an extremely firm foundation. I know what I want in life, I know my goals, I have my visions, and I see my dreams. I've been striving to put these into effect and have so far succeeded in the terms of what I think I am capable of. But I know that I have much to learn and a lot of room to grow-but my foundation, my Yesod, is here and it's here to stay..