Tiberias, A Castle and Safed, mystical jews

Trip Start Oct 14, 2007
Trip End Nov 11, 2007

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Today was pretty special. Up early and onto the bus before breakfast. We headed north to join the students on their history lessons. The don't just learn in the class room they actually go to where the stuff went down to learn about it! The ride up north was a bit long, but we saw some great sights. Of course we went by the Sea of Galilee and right through Tiberius where Amanda and I relaxed last time. We saw the border, the electrified fence that has a smooth swept patch of dirt along it that is inspected for foot prints and re-swept every day. The electicity tells of a breech or some one touching it, does not electrocute. Saw the west bank and learned of the three types of "disputed" territories. A) Fully run and security by Arabs, B) Run by Arabs security Israel and C) Run and Security by Israel. The Oslo peace accords in a nut shell. It was interesting to cross the Jordan River and go through the West bank.
Note : the west bank is in the east of Israel, but the west bank of the Jordan River.
Luba, I find out lives in the west bank, in a settlement, has to go there by bullet proof bus since she was 6 years old. She says as a Jewish Russian Immigrant family there are not so many choices as to where to live.  This is her reality so when friends visit and freak-out she really does not understand. She is a sweet heart and the kids love her. A true Hippy chick, I invite her Santa Cruz.
I sit up front for part of the way. The bus driver learned to drive back during the 6 day war, as a tank driver. It shows!
We climb up to the Crusader Castle and wander through as the kids take notes and do class. We mostly observe. I learn a bunch about them right where it happened!
We have a nice lunch on a Kibbutz that grows tons of bananas among other things. I wander off to explore, find the grocery store and meet the funniest old ladies. Not a lick of English spoken and I know about 16 Hebrew words. I manage to by a lot water as it is nice and warm.
Next is Tzfat or Safed or Zefat?? A really cool artist / Kabala community. Kabala are the mystic Jews and have many of their own beliefs and traditions. We have time to wander between lessons. I chat with a shop owner for a while. He sizes me up in two minutes, hands me a card and says if I ever want to relax more and slow down come see him. He also retells of and average of 14-15 missiles landing every day here during the war with Hezbollah. I also meet to nice 17 year old American girls. They look American, dress American, speak English and smoke cigarettes. They are here at an all girls seminary to learn to be religious girls, Lubavivich. To cut hair when married and wear a wig and be orthodox. Very strange.
Huge dinner at Rosh Pinah, great food! It is at a sort of strip mail and I stop in the REI of Israel, super weak!
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