By Ione Heigham
To add to the never ending list of the ways my life is different on NFTY in Israel versus my normal life is how I appreciate Shabbat. At home I rarely pay any attention to Shabbat and never celebrate this day apart from the occasional Friday night service. Yet during our jam packed weeks in Israel the weekly day of rest provides a nice contrast to the fast paced world we are living in. Although it may feel as if the task of “giving up” a day a week is an impossible challenge to meet, this trip has shown me how taking a step back is refreshing and ultimately beneficial. If we had not been given this weekly time to truly take in all the things we are experiencing, every moment would come and go so quickly. I feel as if I could go through this entire trip without even realizing that I am actually in Israel. Shabbat allows for spiritual, emotional, and of course physical rest and provides a time for me to rejuvenate. Having passed the midpoint of our trip this week the thought of returning home has begun to cross many of our mind; I have realized the meaning of Shabbat and importance of this holy day and have every intention to take this tradition home with me.