Masa Israel Journey Blog

Published : February 25, 2013
By Rachel Manoucheri, Bnos Chava
I have been an Orthodox Jew my entire life. 
I studied in the most prestigious religious institutions of Los Angeles, and spent last year at the Masa Israel-accredited Bnos Chava, an academically rigorous seminary in Jerusalem.  
During my free time, I toured the streets of Jerusalem, and began to comprehend the identity of each Jewish sect. I believed I possessed Jewish pride in my heritage and homeland and needed no further inspiration. 
During that year, my parents traveled to Israel.  
My father planned to visit Ohr Sameach, the yeshiva that first inspired him to practice Judaism, and my mother was acting as a mentor for a Jewish learning program.  
Published : February 21, 2013

By Jordana Skurka, Hebrew University 


I sat apprehensively with my palm held up to a microscope, under the watchful gaze of the Kabbalist, a religious mystic and spiritual guide. Before privately meeting one-on-one with the holy man, I and the other visitors had been informed of his uniquely powerful insight.


As a man thoroughly well-versed in the secret layers and esoteric depths of meaning within the Torah, the Kabbalist was described as one endowed with an ability to see the absolute truth and stark reality of a person’s nature. In just a few short moments of analysis, he could illuminate a person’s inner qualities and past life experiences.


I stared in amazement as he circumspectly examined the lines of my palm, in his desire to scrupulously interpret the inherent significance of each indent. He...

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