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Yom HaAtzmaut in Bat Ayin

In the early afternoon, after a morning of mini-shiurim about different topics surrounding Eretz Yisrael and the Modern State of Israel, we traveled to the breath-taking hills of Bat Ayin, a Yishuv in Gush Etzion. We began with an amazing display of strength and courage from the guys in the Krav Maga course. The Talmidim showed great skill and growth over the last few months. We were then treated to a fascinating exhibition by the Israel Dog Unit, a private company which trains security dogs and Search-and-Rescue dogs. The Israel Dog Unit is used by the IDF and Israeli Police in many major operations. It was fascinating to see the intelligence and strength of these amazing dogs and to see the connection they have with their trainers.

We then took a hike down to the valley of Bat Ayin, finally reaching Bat Ayin Bet, an extension of the original Yishuv. Once there, we met Yehuda Leuchter, a local environmental activist who gave us some background about the land we were standing on. We mobilized into different groups and set out on the difficult task of painting homes, building playgrounds and laying the groundwork for a Mikvah. Within an hour we had accomplished so much more than anyone could have imagined. What an exalted feeling it is to be part of the building and expanding of the land of Israel! 

We ended the day with a celebratory Barbeque with many of the Rebbeim and their families as we gave thanks for the gift that we have - Eretz Yisrael.