Masa Israel Journey Blog

December 06, 2013
by Rachel Gutman, Masa Israel Corps alumna
It wasn't until I lived in Israel as a Masa Israel Journey participant that I first learned any Israeli music. I hadn't been exposed to it before, I'm sad to say, but this was something my friends were determined to change. They introduced me to their favorites; I listened to the radio and heard new music every day. I quickly learned that I was a Mizrahi fanatic - what can I say, it's just too much fun not to dance to! I also discovered a band I could sing along with, as they were expanding into English language songs. Thus began my love affair with Balkan Beat Box, a group made up of Israeli ex-pats mostly living in New York. My friends and I watched their videos, learned the lyrics, and requested their...
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November 29, 2013

מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם,Pardes student Sarah Pollack
שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה. רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶךָ.
Grateful I am before you, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.
These are the first words that leave our lips in the morning – while still laying in bed. I opened my eyes, in a latke coma, and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “grateful.” Images rushed into my mind, like a montage, of last night’s Thanksgivukkah. 18 of us sat around 2 huge tables, expressing our deepest gratitudes to...
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