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Sunday, 22 March, 2015 - 11:02 am

Shabbat started really beautifully with a nice picture opportunity on the roof of our hotel. We had all just arrived in Berlin and it was the first time in over a day we were able to just relax and finally take it all in while watching the sun set over the city. As Shabbat began we headed over to the chabad student center for services and dinner which was a blast!

We enjoyed a lavish meal with German cuisine where we has the opportunity to meet the local German and Russian Jewish students. A long night of dining and fargrenging proved to be a good time for everyone.

Shabbat morning started slowly with most people sleeping in until 11:30 and then slowly trickling into the chabad center to catch the end of prayers and then a kiddush lunch.

There was one boy becoming a bar mitzvah, a wedding and an upshernish all happening this week!

The amount of food we consumed was amazing as it just kept coming out of the kitchen.

Following the kiddush we headed over to  Rabbi Yehuda & Leah Tiechtel's (Rabbi Dovid's brother) house for a proper Shabbat lunch. The rebitsen had produced an amazing feast and we dined until Shabbat was almost over.

The amazing part about this day was how together everyone felt as we sat free of outside distractions and just focused on each other and what was happening in our immediate vicinity. I spoke with a few other people on the trip who had never experienced a full Shabbat such as this without phones or any other electronic distractions, I was amazed to see how much they actually appreciated being "unplugged" for a whole day and just spending time conversing and getting to know one another.

Aside from the religious aspect of the day it was an awesome feeling to realize that we were spending Shabbat, walking through the streets of Berlin wearing kippas and proudly displaying our Judaism where people were murdered not so long ago for that very reason. Rabbi Yehudah reminded us many times, that the best revenge we could have on the nazi regime was proudly practicing Judaism, especially here in Berlin. I really connected to that and it made me even prouder to be a Jew. It also made me realize the importance of continuing the Jewish tradition with my future children, something I now realize more than ever is the most important thing I can do as Jew for the rest of my life.


By Stanley Dayan 

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