Jerusalem of Gold
By Alana Fertel
On Saturday, June 13th, we all went to old city Jerusalem and to see the wall. The staff had us walk in a single file line while putting our hands on the person's shoulder in front of us. While walking like that, we had to keep our eyes closed. Although it was scary to walk somewhere without knowing where I was, I felt safe and happy with my new friends surrounding me for guidance.
When we came to a stop it was dark outside by this point. The staff asked for the people to raise their hands who hadn't been to Israel before, who was the first person in our family to go, and if we have dreamt of coming here our whole life. My hands stayed up for all three questions and all I could think about was how blessed I am to be in such a beautiful place with these amazing people.
The staff told us to open our eyes and when I opened them my breath was stripped away. I saw the Jerusalem wall with hundreds of Jews praying to it and singing and dancing and putting notes in the wall. I felt a rush of gratitude and warmth. I thought about all of my family before me who fought hard to keep our traditions and faith going and all of the things that have brought me to this point to find Israel. The view from the top of the Jewish quarter was absolutely positively the most amazing experience of my life and I didn't want to leave Israel ever again in that very moment. I felt safety, warmth and I felt home. I looked around me and saw all these beautiful souls that had been so lucky to meet on this trip. These people are my friends, my family and each one of them has inspired me to be the best person that I can be. I will always look back at this moment and realize that there are so many things to be grateful for and I wished that my family and close friends could experience what I saw and felt that night in Jerusalem. I know I'll be back though and I know I will bring my loved ones to this peaceful, beautiful and heartwarming place that I am proud to be connected to through my Jewish heritage. I'll never forget that image that night. I'll never forget what it made me feel.