Emily B. is a junior from Massachusetts. She is a member of Congregation Beth Jacob in Plymouth, Massachusetts and is a participant in NFTY-NE.
“ARE THOSE CACTI?!” I shouted as my friends and I walked up the Tel. Sure enough, there were dozens and dozens of cacti surrounding the dirt path that lead to our destination. But, unsurprisingly, the cacti were nowhere close to the most beautiful part of our short hike.
At first, I was shocked at how magical the State of Israel looked from even a small hill. As we began our ascent to the top of Tel Tzuba, each and every time I looked out over the peak, chills ran down my spine; each and every time I turned to find something that would make a better picture than the last, I found myself looking at an even more breathtaking view than the one I had seen five minutes before. From afar, the Tel looked somewhat like a turtle-shaped hill. However, once I stood at the highest point possible, on top of a rock wall that had once acted as a home to the indigenous people of Israel thousands of years ago, the Tel had become a place that I could never get tired of. The view that it provides is more glorious than anything I have ever laid my eyes upon in my entire life. A description of this particular view cannot be put in to words, for it would not do it any justice.
Sitting on top of the wall…sitting upon rocks higher up in the sky than I have ever been freely caused a burst of adrenaline to run throughout my body. In the moment that I looked out over the amazingly beautiful cities of Israel I had realized that nothing could compare to the sight that I had very fortunately laid my eyes upon. This moment, this very special moment, was the moment that I fell in love with the country of Israel. And although it is only my sixth day living here, I am already 110% sure that I want to return. Sitting upon the highest point of the Tel had made me a million times more excited to adventure throughout this amazing country. I realized in this moment that I was the luckiest girl alive to be able to travel such a long way from home for such a long amount of time in order to learn and experience Israeli culture, the Jewish people’s culture, my people’s culture. And with this opportunity, I will make these next four months the best four months of my life.
You can read more about Emily’s time in Israel at her blog, My Life in Israel.