Monday, September 19, 2011

The Innocents Abroad

When YZG was in 11th grade, his school traveled to Israel on a six week tour.

The kids were accompanied by one of their rebbeim, and the secular teachers sent homework along. For instance, the English teacher instructed the students to keep journals of their experiences.

As it so happens, YZG recently found his old journal and graciously offered it to me to use for blogging purposes.

And so, without further ado, what follows are a few  excerpts (lightly edited for spelling and clarity) from the first week of the trip:

Thursday, January 27

This morning we got up at 5:30 to go to the Kotel for morning prayers. Before we went, we went to a mikvah (ritual bath)… By the Wall, it was approximately 40° F. Later that day, we took a tour of Yerushalayim and looked at it from various viewpoints, in various directions…

Friday, January 28

…We went to Mevo Beitar and planted trees in a moshav. We then traveled into the Judean Hills and went to the Stalactite Cave. This is a naturally-formed cave about 90x80 ft. It was discovered by people who were quarrying rock for building…

Saturday, January 29

…[After Shabbat], we went to see a concert at the Diaspora Yeshiva.

Sunday, January 30

…We went to the Israel Museum. We saw the Dead Sea Scrolls and saw religious articles from many different countries as well as exhibits on the past history of Israel, starting from the beginning of time…

And finally, there’s the following entry, which is one of my favorites – for two reasons. First, because it includes the sort of detail that a certain Shiputzim son would’ve included if he had been on this trip. And also, because the last sentence cracks me up every time I read it:

Monday, January 31

Today we went to Kiryat No’ar… They have a computer center, and I saw a PDP-11. There are 15 computer terminals there - although as of now, I don’t know what kind.

We then visited the elderly and helped him clear his porch…


So, what do you think? Are you interested in reading more from YZG’s old journal? If so, I’ll be glad to share additional excerpts in a future post.


P.S. The latest Haveil Havalim is available here. Special thanks to Susan B. for including my 9/11 post.


  1. That must have been a great experience for him. In those days computers were still rare and special. And the performances of DYB at Har Zion were fantastic. They were the best ever.

  2. Batya - Yes, those melaveh malkah concerts were amazing! "Live, from King David's Tomb..." :-)

  3. Good stuff
    Whats great also about the last entry is the line: "although as of now, I don’t know what kind"
    as if he add the plan to find out what kind of terminals they were using.

  4. YT - Very true! What's also funny is that they went to Kiryat No'ar to go swimming and to play basketball, not to see the computers! In fact, I'm sure that no one else but YZG even noticed the computers... :-)


Feel free to leave a comment.