This coming March, at the Jerusalem Marathon, Orayta is attempting
to become the first yeshiva to run the 10k race - all of the students,
together as a team. To train, we divided into running chevrutot
(pairs), and once every three weeks we run together as a yeshiva.
This past Monday, we completed our second yeshiva-wide run. This
run reminded me that here in the Old City, I am in the right place.
Following a week of escalated tension in Jerusalem, the whole
country felt down. Sometimes, it was difficult to crack a smile. That's when Rav Yair and
Rav Blau gathered all of Orayta in the Rova Square for pre-running zemirot (songs). After
the day's events, nobody was in the right mindset to run two miles. But once we got to the
Rova Square, representing our country with our face paint, plain white shirts, and blue
shorts, our attitudes changed. We put our arms around each other, closed our eyes, and
sang, feeling the comfort and yachad (togetherness) that we all so desperately needed. In
one pack, all of Orayta charged down Yaffo Street led by Rav Blau and Albert Katz,
carrying an Israeli flag. Israelis walking down the street, eager for something to lift their
spirits, cheered us on. As we ran, we clapped, chanted, and broke out into "Am Yisrael
Chai." When we finally got back to the Rova, we were all excited and jumpy -as if the run
actually gave us more energy. Once again, we put our arms around each other and sang
"Acheinu" (Our Brothers). People of all backgrounds passing by sat down to watch us and
capture the moment. Eventually, we made our way back to the dorms, where we enjoyed
an ice cream treat before continuing on to Night Seder.
I've gone on many runs before, but none were as powerful as this one. In such a difficult
time, we gave the city something to cheer for as we proved to ourselves just how much we
can accomplish. 6,000 miles away from my family, I felt at home.
Daniel Trubnick is from Chicago, Illinois, attended Ida Crown Jewish Academy, and plans
on attending the University of Maryland next year. His favorite thing about Orayta is the
diversity of topics that each student encounters on a daily basis