10/25/2005

The Oregon Country Fair of Israel


I’ve spent the last week camping out at a festival called Beresheet along the Sea of Galilee. It was a three-day music festival for Sukkot, which is a huge holiday here. We get off 10 days from the program and Beresheet was the first destination. Check out the link to it, but basically it was the Israeli Oregon Country Fair, if you could camp out in it without being a vender and if only 15 year olds went to it.

The social scenes in Israel are often reserved for the younger crowd, but I was definitely not expecting such a low age bracket at the festival. Literally my friends and I were pretty old by comparison, very unlike the extreme variety of ages that attend any festival I’ve been to in the US. But that and quite a bit of Jews for Jesus aside, it was one of the most incredible things I have experienced here so far Continued...

We camped with hundreds and hundreds of other people in kind of a tent metropolis. At the festival, there was a main stage and a few other stages inside; there was lots of good food, clothing and jewelry stores, massage and yoga workshops, and a huge fire pit in the middle. Everyone was dressed up in these crazy costumes and the best part about it was the whole thing was really cheap. Big meals were around 5 bucks apiece and I got all these cool clothes and jewelry for hardly anything at all.

The music was incredible. Every night at six, a band would start playing on the main stage and after that two more would come on, playing until one in the morning! We heard Israeli reggae, jam bands, folk music, and rock. Amazing! The first night, the last act was this rock group and during one of their last songs, a group of people cleared out and started fire spinning right in the in the crowd!

The next day there was this massive drumming circle. Tons of people were around this big fire and drummers and dancers were in the middle. It went on for so long and I was dancing with them in the center until the smoke hurt my eyes! It was really cool though. Then the most amazing thing happened. They brought out a Shofar and blew it right along with the drums. Nowhere else, with no other crowd would this have made sense, but right then it was perfect and just totally seemed to flow with it. We all sang Israeli songs I remember from camp and English songs by Marley. It was pretty much the most fabulous thing I’ve ever been apart of.

Later that night the music was sweet. The last group was actually very well known and when they got to their final song I knew what it was! It’s a song they play everywhere, in the malls and bus stations and any other public area, but still it was exciting to sing along and I felt more part of the crowd when I knew what was going on.

At times I was frustrated because everything was in Hebrew, and my language skills are still way below par, so even though I know we got to experience the basic really cool things the festival had to offer, not being able to read the list of events or communicate deeply with the people we met made me feel at a loss.

Click here to see all the pictures I have of Beresheet.

Well after three days of all this, and some unexpected rain, we had enough and left for Deganya Bet, the kibbutz where our friends’ brother lives. While we stayed there we got a great deal on some near by hot springs, and some people told us about a near by hike. The hike was out of this world. You can’t bring a camera or anything (so I have no pics ☹) because part of the hike involves swimming through water. The hike started off at the top of a ravine that we climbed down. At the bottom, we walked through a few streams and got to this massive cliff. To get down you climb a ladder and jump into to a pool of ice-cold water. Good thing it was super hot that day! When I jumped in, it was so cold I had to remind myself to breath. There were two of these little swims and the rest of the hike we were scrambling over boulders and other fun things! If you have the means, I highly recommend checking this one out!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isreal rocks
and blessing to all

7:42 PM  

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