"Mitsva" Association
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Sabbat shalom
Shabbat shalom

  Young Jews from Shimkent city will remember this trip for a long time. We spent 3 days (from July 26 to 28) in "Altex" recreation area, where we gathered to celebrate Shabbat together. Unrestrained revelry started right in the bus. Suddenly it proved that there were less seats than people. Sasha Pahomov and Sasha Brodsky who love laughing, kept remembering about that incident all the way. Generally, the trip was not comfortable, but with jokes. The passengers who were separated from the outer world, divided: some of them slept, others sang folk songs, still others ate sandwiches.

  We reached the place in two hours. At the first sight we, the children of civilization, did not like the recreation area. Instead of comfortable rooms with hot water and bath we saw trailers and a river with ice-cold water. We went to our "first class rooms" grumbling. Having put our bags into corners we started to get ready for the Shabbat. Robert and Yana from Tashkent "Gilel" who came there to conduct the Shabbat told us about various Shabbat traditions, the ways of singing prayers. After the Shabbat celebration we went to sleep. We did not have neither strength nor desire to see the sights.

  Having hardly opened our eyes in the morning, we went to the river. You can not imagine how invigorative and dewy is the thought about washing with cold water! I looked around and the surrounding beauty struck me. You will never see such things in the city. All our meals were accompanied by Shabbat songs, and after meals we said Birkat Amazon prayer. It was not easy to catch new melodies and words. The most impressive for me was a hike to the mountains. We climbed up to the height of 3000 m and saw a magnificent waterfall and a lake that attracted to bath in it. We went back tired but satisfied. A pond situated near our camp helped us to relax. But the day was finishing as everything in this world. We gathered to "Havdala" to wish each other good luck and happiness in the new week, to light up candles and to sing the songs that are usually sang at the end of the Shabbat.

  The new day started with fuss. Scattered things had to be packed. The way back was even more interesting. Everybody shared impression vying with each other. Lack of civilization made us think about the relativity of all things happening. For example, we were indignant with lack of conveniences, but our ancestors had to celebrate Shabbat under more severe conditions. So everything is relative. A part of something warm and good remained in every soul after the trip. We thank the director of Shimkent Community Center Elena Udaltsova, and those who helped us to see the things that made us better. Ancient prayers, Shabbat songs, blessings that sounded differently close to nature made us realize that all of us are a part of a single whole - the Jewish people.

L. Manzhos

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