Tel Aviv and the Bedouins By Milagros de Jong

Today we woke up early in preparation for our final departure from the Children’s Village and the city of Karmiel. Then, we began our journey towards Tel Aviv, during which we learned about the importance of old and new concepts. For example, “Tel” refers to the hill built up from previous ruins and remains of other cities, and how “Aviv” in the city’s name is about the season of spring, which symbolizes renewal and growth.

We first visited the ANU Museum of the Jewish People. The museum tells the past as well as the ongoing story of the Jewish people. It focuses on their beliefs, religion, past and modern culture, and most of all the varying forms in which one can identify as a Jew. This is done through the use of artifacts and renditions of significant historical events. Specifically, we learned about the different types of synagogues throughout the history of the Jews, the Sephardic Jews in comparison to the Ashkenazi Jews, Jewish immigration to the United States, and the modern aspects of the culture today (for example, food, music, theater, humor, cooking, etc.). Near the end of our tour of the museum, we had the extremely specific opportunity to see the Codex Sassoon, which will be on display for a very limited amount of time (March 23-29) before going to auction. The Codex Sassoon is the world’s earliest most complete version of the Hebrew Bible, dating back to the early 10th century. 

Following our time in the museum, we had lunch at a restaurant within the vibrant city, where we had the appetizer of pita alongside a considerable amount of toppings, including beets, humus, israeli salad, as well as the option for beef and lamb kebabs, marinated chicken, or schnitzel for the main meal. After lunch, we began our tour and walked through the very scenic areas of Neve Tzedek and Old Jaffa, where we learned about the location of the biblical figure Simon the Tanner’s home, and the story in regard to his interactions with Jesus’ disciple Peter. 

Finally, we traveled on the bus down to Sfinat Hamidbar in the South in Israel, where we learned about the culture, societal norms, and living experience of the Bedouins. After our incredible dinner, in which options of meat, chicken, rice, potatoes, and much more were included, we sat outside with a Bedouin. He explained what the semi-nomadic lifestyle and day-to-day experiences of the Bedouins were like, including the importance of the knowledge of the desert for certain tracking units in the Israel Defence Force (IDF). We ended the night reflecting on our time in the Children’s Village and then went to bed inside our group’s tent.

ANU Museum
The Codex Sassoon
Old Jaffa
Bedouin Hospitality
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