Youth Israel Trip: Day 9
It was an emotional day. We started by visiting Yad L'Kashish, where we LOVED chatting in many languages with the seniors who work there. Between us, we had French, Spanish, English, Hebrew, Russian, Swedish, and a bit of German! We visited and talked with the seniors as they make crafts in their workshops - they enjoyed explaining what they were doing, and a little about themselves. Some of us even sang and danced with the seniors as they created works of art! We felt good about buying their work as we visited into the gift shop, since we made friends with the actual people who made them! This is such an important way to help the seniors who come to Jerusalem from many countries, and trying to be useful. Check out our temple gift shop for Yad L'Kashish items to purchase yourself. They are beautiful!
Next, we drove to the Mt. Herzl Cemetery. We saw the graves of many famous and not-famous graves of Israel's heroes, including (of course) Theodore Herzl, Yitzchak Rabin, Chanah Senesh, and Golda Maier. It was tree-lined, quiet, and peaceful. Several teens commented that it felt more like a park than a cemetery!
The new Herzl Museum was a many-media extravaganza of Hertzl's life and work. We turned on our stools to watch different screens, moved to several rooms, looked at real artifacts, and sat with the congress. The story was well-told…and two teens told Rabbi Bob afterwards that they needed to find a book store to purchase Herzl's famous book!
Lunch, yes, shwarma or pizza wrier the choices today. We really like these, and it just happens to be the "fast food" of Israel!
Then we traveled to the most somber place of the day, Yad V'Shem, Israel's holocaust museum. The 2 hours we had planned was too short of a time to see all the artifacts, look at all the pictures, hear all the stories. We did visit all the buildings. They have recently made major changes and improvements to this museum to better tell the story, including the new museum. Not many of us had dry eyes as we left the children's memorial. It was beautiful to see the teens supporting each other with a hug, or a hand when needed as they walked through. It's such a different thing to read about the holocaust in a book than it is to see the artifacts, hear the names of children read, see the videos of survivors (done by Spielberg), see a room full of yortzeit candles, and know that so many of our own families were affected by this terrible event.
As a special treat tonight, we went to the Machla Mall (largest in the Middle East) for dinner and urban shopping! We adults had a room check at 10:45, and most of the teens were already in bed, unlike those late night chatty first few days!