Trek Israel: Mt. Herzl National Cemetery and the Israel Museum

July 14, Trek Israel Day 16

Dear diary,
Today is sort of like a vanilla and chocolate ice cream bar. Mostly because most people are going to like one half more than the other. In this case I liked the latter part of the bar. This is because the first part of the day as at the holocaust memorial and then the second was a carnival dance. Today started out very early, we woke up at 7:30 breakfast is at eight and we loaded the bus at 8:45am.

 

Although we had to wake up so early, the Holocaust Museum was only a two minute driveway. Getting to the museum was a very nostalgic experience for me personally, for I went there in eighth-grade with my class. I actually learned more about the building and the site and why everything was in its place. The best part was exciting and having an incredible view of Jerusalem, almost as if the struggle of the holocaust led us to emerge into the Land of Israel.

After the memorial we head over to a lovely park to enjoy gourmet pizza lunch with many different types of sodas. We are at the park for a good hour until we head back to the hotel where we had free time. With this time I went to the gym worked out for 45 minutes and then augured to my room for a quick yet effective nap. We then around 3:30 left our hotel to go to a different one where we got the privilege of listening to a great speaker who tried to convince us to move to Israel.

But finally once it was over we got to leave for BBYO B’Yachad. Finally finding it we departed for the fair grounds where we were privileged with the ability to dance and go on crazy fun rides. This was by far the best part of the day. For dancing is a way for me to be me. To let aside all other problems for a bit of time, and have fun. It was for sure one the best BBYO dance I’ve been too. For when 400 Jewish kids come together we have a great time. The night ended with our counselors, Drew and Bailey, screaming at us to jump on the bouncy house for a group picture.

All in all it was a great day even though like the double flavored ice cream you’ll like one half better than the other it’s all about trying it. For life is what you make it so even if you don’t love vanilla if you give it a chance it might not be so bad.

Love,
– Jacob

July 15, Trek Israel Day 17
After another night in the Crown Plaza Hotel, we started our day on Mt. Herzl. We discussed who we considered to be the nation’s greats and then visited a few famous graves, such as Yitzhak Rabin and Herzl himself. Then we went to the Herzl museum and learned more about who he was. After the museum we visited the Mt. Herzl National Cemetery. Our guide Meir and our guard Danny told us about the lives of some of the soldiers buried in the cemetery that they personally knew. Then we recited the Mourner’s Kiddish and sang Ha Tikvah.

 

Next we went to the Mahane Yehuda open air market to get lunch and small trinkets. We were also able to purchase the best ruggalach in the world. After lunch we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our Shabbat at the kotel. When we arrived at the Kotel we went through a small service created by our own Shira and Josh. Then we entered the Kotel, said prayers and the kiddish, and started the long walk back to our hotel. The walk was about an hour but it was super fun because we as a group were singing and telling stories and just overall had a blast being goofy together.
Shabbat Shalom,
– Zach

July 16, Trek Israel Day 18
Today we went to the Israel Museum to see the Dead Sea scrolls, temple model and the art. It was incredible seeing such antiques and learning about the history of the Torah and how they found the scrolls. The girls took cheesy group photos in front of the Ahava sculpture. After the museum the group went to the park to play for a while. They played soccer while the some others napped in the shade. Following that we went back to the hotel to relax.

Havdallah was cool tonight, we went to a patio and all sung together. We also wrote Shabbat notes to each other. Drew, Baylee, and Meir treated us to coffee and dessert at a restaurant in the Mamila Mall. At the western wall we took a night tour through the Kotel Tunnels. We learned about the history of the wall. Apparently we were just a few meters away from the holiest of holies. One of the holiest sites in all the world. After a stint at Ben Yehuda street, we all hung out in the halls all night. It was a pretty great last night all together.
– Sasha
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