I arrived back home yesterday morning, a whirlwind trip which has left me breathless and horribly jet lagged.
While I gather my thoughts, here is a post I put together before, inspired by the Bnei-Akiva flag-waving ceremony I attended. One of my nieces took part in it, although she explained to me that she actually has no plans to continue attending the meetings of the Youth Movement; my niece is particularly independent and sassy, and she simply wanted to have fun hanging out with her friends during the many rehearsals. Her one complaint about the event was that the Bnei girls have to wear a floor-length dark skirt for the ceremony, she bought one for 15 shekels (5 bucks) and refused to even put it in her closet next to her other (very short) skirts as it was "not worthy."
As I stood on the hill, looking down at the carpark which had temporarily become the Bnei-Akiva stage, I noticed that I was surrounded by kippot srugot - crocheted kippot. In Israel, the type of kippa (skullcap) a man wears defines his religious and political affiliation, and the crocheted kippa usually points to a "Modern Orthodox Zionist." I'm generalising for the sake of explanation here, but that's more or less how it works.
I immediately realised that my crafting friends would love to get a look at what a crocheted kippa looks like, so here are some samples I discovered on the night: