Israel Journey #6: Shalom, farewell, Israel

Please enjoy these updates written by our teen participants:
On Friday in the morning, we went to the Har Herzel military cemetery. Before we went to the cemetery and visited the gravestones of fallen IDF soldiers, we went to the Herzel museum and learned about the history of the man who paved the way for the Jews to have their own Jewish state. We watched a series of movies that were made to look like a play in order to learn about the Zionst movement and how the Jews fought for a country.
After the museum, we went to the cemetery and visited two gravestones of IDF soldiers who were from the U.S. One moved to Israel after birthright because he fell in love with the country. After the cemetery, we went to a market place near our hotel in order to buy food for Shabbat. It was totally radical. When we came back to the hotel, we had some free time before we headed off to go to the Kotel on Shabbat. It was an amazing experience, seeing so many Jews praying, dancing, singing, and having a good time. Needless to say, it will be an experience we will never forget.
– Reese Ochoa
Today was a great, relaxing day on Shabbat. In the morning, you had to choose between going to synagogue or the Israel Museum. The synagogue was around a 25 minute walk. People told me that this synagogue was a nice experience with around a 2 hour service. The people also said that he place itself was beautiful. However, I ended up going to the museum. We walked to the museum which was about a 25 minute walk. At the museum, there was cool archeological artifacts and structures of old ancient times, famous art and clothing, old synagogues from different countries, and old scrolls and books. After, everybody met at the hotel for lunch, and everybody was chilling at the hotel enjoying a day with little activity. I personally enjoyed sleeping for about 3 hours.
Israel Journey 6 had their last havdalla in the hotel and headed to the Mamilla Mall to shop for about 45 minutes. Following that, we headed to the tunnels of the Western Wall. It is located under a bridge and has many ancient parts inside. One was the walls that weigh about 600 tons. The Romans couldn’t even break through it because it was too strong. There was also a pool of water for a moat back then as well as a structure where a market had occurred. After, the group went back to the hotel or to a store nearby in order to have snacks for the night. And finally, we are at the hotel enjoying our last night in Israel. Some people might even pull an all nighter. Anyway, our day was pretty sufficient and  Monday our trip will unfortunately come to an end, but I am happy to say that it has been a great, exciting journey. I am also glad to be the second to last person to write about the trip. Shabbat Shalom.
– Ethan Frey
Today, Sunday August 7th, the group began with a relatively late wake up and subsequent departure of the divine Caesar hotel. We embarked on a journey to the underground bullet factory at a kibbutz where the Haganah had employed youths to manufacture bullets for the resistance against the British. After, we went into Tel Aviv for lunch and shopping at the Carmel market. Multitudes of Pokemon were found throughout the shuk!
We walked to Independence Hall, where the Israeli Declaration of Independence was signed. The building was, in fact, the first home to be built in Tel Aviv. Then, we set sail for Neot Kedumim tree groves where we planted saplings in a burned forest. We gave them a new home and moistened them in order to sustain them. We ate a tearful last dinner and, after some bus drama, headed to the airport to vote the Europe group off the island. The remaining teens went to a nearby bowling alley awaiting their flight. Home is where the heart is and our hearts are in Israel. Thus ended BBYO Israel Journey 6.
Signing off,
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