A Breath of Fresh Air in the Mountains of the Shomron

Posts tagged ‘Holiday’

Yom Ha’atzmaut

Kehillat Ohel Efraim is always happy to be part of the city wide Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration for the religious community and this year was no different.  The davening and dancing were spiritually uplifting.  The presentation co-ordinated by Yochai Etias was inspirational.  This year a special tradition was instituted, where a shofar was presented to one of the recent Olim families.  Rav Hillel was proud to make the presentation, this special shofar will be passed along each year to the newest Oleh family.  We’re eagerly awaiting the next ones coming this summer!ImageIn the day time, the Ohel Efraim community together with Shvut Ariel had a joint tiyul in the Shomron, near Itamar.  Rav Hillel carried on the tradition of reading his original children’s book telling the story of Yom Ha’atzmaut!Image

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Tu Bishvat at Ohel Efraim

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The youngest group coloring in!

Tu Bishvat is always a special time for kids at Ohel Efraim.   This year was no different as we hosted the annual Tu Bishvat event.  The older kids learned about which brachot we make including spices with a great powerpoint by Rav Hillel.

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Learning about brachot

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Powerpoint by Rav Hillel.

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Special Besamim boxes with locally gathered spices.

They then made besamim boxes with Yael Lockerman.

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Playing fruit bingo.

The younger kids played fruit bingo and made cut paper trees with Rabbanit Yael.  The youngest kids had fun with stickers and coloring in.

If you’re looking for a simple Tu Bishvat craft – try fruit bingo.  All you need are blank bingo boards 4) Bingo, and fruit stickers (or tree stickers).  Print out enough boards for all the kids, and then let them make their own boards by putting on stickers.  Put aside one of each sticker so that you can use them to choose a fruit to call out.  Let the Tu Bishvat fun begin!

Laying a stone for the Netzarim Shul in Ariel

Although we created this website to highlight what’s going on in Ohel Efraim, we took part in an event over Chol Hamoed Succot that we just have to share.  The community of Netzarim from Gush Katif has been living in Ariel since 2005.   They originally settled in the Ariel University dorms and eventually moved into a temporary caravan site near the college.   That has been the status quo since 2005.

The Netzarim community has added a new element to religious life in Ariel which complemented some of the more veteran communities including Ohel Efraim and Shvut Ariel.  They brought a Yeshivat Hesder to Ariel and have a wide variety of social and religious activities.   Kehillat Ohel Efraim and Kehillat Netzarim have been partners in learning initiatives in the city.

Rav Hillel lays a stone for the new Netzer Ariel Shul

We were happy to take part in the stone laying for the new Netzarim Shul in Ariel, in the neighborhood planned to finally give this community a permanent home.  The community was touched by the busloads of Mizrachi Olami members who came to join in the simcha!   We hope that the growth of the religious communities in Ariel grows for years to come.

Open Succa!

Welcome to our Succa!

On the holiday of Succot we live for seven days outside in a temporary structure.  Succot are naturally open, you can often hear your neighbor’s zemirot or get a visit from the local wildlife.  Succot lend themselves to guests.  This fits nicely with a theme represented by the four species that all elements of Am Yisrael are bound together on Succot.

Happy to be in the Succa!

Our Succa this year was blessed to have two gatherings grace its walls.  On Friday night Shabbat Chol Hamoed Succot we invited the whole community for singing, Divrei Torah and snacks.  I taught a special song “Om Ani Choma אום אני חומה” that I learned from Rav Amital Z”L from my days at Yeshivat Har Etzion.

Come and have a bite!

On Shabbat afternoon Yael organized the first ever Ohel Efraim Succa Hop!  We visited the Kessin, Maizels and Buchbut Succa, had snacks, sang songs and told stories – but this time for the under seven crowd!

Ed:  All pictures were not taken on Shabbat or Chag!