Today was an incredible trifecta of exhilarating Israeli activities! A day lined up with Masada, Camels and the Dead Sea... What could be better?!
The last stop of the day was definitely not the least, a Bedouin tent. We were treated to a dinner where we ate Bedouin cuisine while kneeling on cushions at the table. Following the dinner we were greeted by a man who taught us about the culture and introduced us to their coffee and customs regarding guests. The best part of the night followed, when our group hiked out into the desert. We all broke from our group formation and wandered in different directions to gain a little perspective of the endlessness of the desert of southern Israel. It was a perfect way to reflect on the day and week under the same sky that has been witness to so much history.
There is no way to write about all of the elements of today's visit to Yad Vashem. I could discuss the architecture, the use of carpeting and concrete, the individual displays, the children's memorial, the Path of the Righteous Gentiles, the range of emotions, the debriefing, etc. I chose here to focus on my thoughts during the second half of our tour of the main museum, starting with the displays of life in the concentration camps.
Today was an amazing day for everyone, especially for those of us who do not observe shabbat on a regular basis. Most notably, we were finally able to catch up on sleep because our morning activity didn't start until 9:30!
Everyone seemed lighter, friendlier, and excited for the next part of our adventure. We may have only spent one day in Tel Aviv, but the beauty and exhilaration of the city was like an exotic perfume that lingers in your hair and on your skin.
Being with these people, not only the Americans, but the Israelis (especially the Israelis) has really REALLY opened my mind and eyes to what it's like to live in this country as a Jew, as well as what it could be like to live at home as a Jew.
Today was a great beginning to a wonderful trip, but the discussion reminded me of how fortunate our country is to not have to continue to actively defend its boarders. More importantly how we as a nation, culture, and religion we can continue to help our brothers and sisters in Israel defend theirs.
Get ready for an amazing adventure! #Birthright #Shorashim
*All pictures are either from your staff’s first trip to Israel, in general or as a staff person, or one of their favorite places*