Pictures from recent blog posts (the week of holidays and some tiulyim)
Pictures from recent blog posts (the week of holidays and some tiulyim)
The last holiday was Yom Ha’atmaut. (Independence day!)It began that same night as Yom Hazitkaron ended - with a jurassic switch in emotions from mourning to going to crazy.
That night we went to Ben Yehudah (In Jerusalem) and it was full of multiple stages with either a band or DJ and a variety of people celebrating. It had to have been one of my favorite times here in Israel. We all went around from one stage to the next and danced. the next day we went to a beach in Tel Aviv and had a color war with EIE. EIE was split into groups and we played different games (competing with each other) It was such a fun holiday - I wish America had something this fun!!
I couldn’t attach the video here - but if you click this link you can get a little taste of what the part was like at night.. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3172310025873&set=t.1031305532&type=3&theater
The next holiday was Yom Hazikaron, which was on April 24th. It is a holiday to remember all of the people who died fighting for their country. (sort of like memorial day in the US)
In the morning we went on a tiyul to a battle field on the 6 Day War - where we learned about how Israel miraculously beat Syria, Egypt and Jordan in just 6 days. We finished with the rest of our general studies classes. At night we went to the Kotel (western wall) for a memorial service - where the president of Israel, high commanders in the army and the Rabbi of Jerusalem spoke. Unfortunately I could barely understand any of their speeches - but the few bits and pieces that I got translated, were very moving. It was so amazing just to see hundreds of people gathering around, and coming together as a community to remember these soldiers. At 8pm a siren went off (like the one in Yom Hashoah) and for that minute which started the remembrance period for Israel. Everyone was just silent - thinking and praying for the soldiers who are fighting and who have lost their life for Israel.
We continued Yom Hazikaron the next morning where we went to a memorial service at our kibbutz honoring all the member of the kibbutz who had died in war. It began with another siren at 11am. It was really neat - because from where we were standing on the top of a hill, you could feel the vibrations of the sound move throughout the mountains of Jerusalem. Some people from the kibbutz spoke about their relatives/loved ones who passed away - and the service ended with Hatikvah. (Israeli national anthem)
A few weeks ago there was a strand of holidays. . yom hashoah, yom hazikaron and yom hatzmaut. Yom Hashoah is the Holocaust remeberance day. It was on April 19th this year. . We had a full day tiyul this day, where we went to an underground bullet factory that was used during the War of Independence to secretly make bullets for the war. During our time there at 10am there was a syrin that went off throughout all of Israel. It goes on for one minute - and in that time, you are supposed to stop what your doing, and just remember all of those who had passed in the Holocaust.
I was sort of sad that we weren’t out in a populated place, because I feel like it would have been really cool to see everyone just pause - all the cars, busses, everything.
After the tour there, we went to the Hall of Independence where Israel was declared a state. (in Tel Aviv) Lastly we went to an old base - where there where many old Israeli tanks.
I think its really neat how Israel takes upon themselves to remember the people from the Holocaust this way - I wish the US would do something like that..
I know it has been a very very long time since i have written - so im sorry for these late posts. (I will try to get you updated as soon as possible). After Passover we went on a 4 day camping trip starting off at the Sea of Galilee. In the beginning we split off into small groups - about 10 people each. (these were the people you would make your meals with, hike with ect. ) Every morning we would wake up around 6am drink some tea, load our sleeping gear on the busses and start on our hike for the day. About an hour in, we would split into our groups and make our breakfast. Since it was Passover, there wasn’t much to work with: matzah, jelly, peanut butter, chocolate sauce, some apples and some other food. (but this was the only food we got for the day, so we had to proportion it out evenly so we would have enough for lunch time).
On the second day of Yam L’ Yam we hiked a full day - around 10 kilometers. It was extremely hot, and having to carry all of our food supplies and 4 liters of water made the hike even more difficult. We climbed up many hills, lead our selves through the whole journey and even climbed up vertical rocks!
. We were responsible for cooking all our own food for breakfast and lunch and making sure that we ration our food well between the two meals. We would then continue to hike until lunch where we would usually cook rice and some sort of meat with vegetables. We would then continue to hike until we reached our camp site where our clothing bags would already be and we would set up tents and stay there for the night. At night the leaders of the hiking groups would make us dinner and we would hang out and rest. On the last day of Yam L’ Yam we got to repel down a large cave and then bike the rest of the path to the sea. Overall the trip was very fun.
We then went to Haifa where we just got to hang out and rest for the weekend. We went to the Bah’ai gardens well in Haifa which were absolutely stunning as well as going to anArab Market and the beach.
Poland pictures - Auschwitz 2 (beercanal)
More poland pictures
Every year at the end of the Passover seder we say, “next year in Jerusalem.” Not knowing that this magical place would be in my future, I would always just say it along with everyone else. This year, however, I was fortunate enough to participate in EIE’s Spring 2012 semester, and so spent this Passover in Israel. Its not just the fact that all my life I was a minority in the United States, but when it came time for me to pull out the matzah, or my menorah, I always felt uncomfortable not being able to fit in like everyone else.
During my whole stay, even Passover, I was no longer that minority. I would stop by stores to get a snack, and all of the chametz was blocked off. Seeing that made it finally hit me that I was spending Passover in Israel.
For the majority of my holiday I was on Yam le Yam – which is a hike from the Sea of Galilee to the Mediterranean. Initially I was really disappointed that we had make this hike during Passover because I was afraid of not having the chance to celebrate the holiday with the part of my family that lives here. But then I realized – with the help of my Jewish history teacher – that Passover is a holiday of traveling. After all, it commemorates the fleeing from Egypt of Jews trying to reach the holy land.
It wasn’t hard keeping pesadicha during Yam le Yam, because the only food available was kosher for Passover.
Before the trek, I was in Tel Aviv for two days visiting family. We had a really nice, relaxing time - but we didn’t have any type of seder which really made me miss my family and our annual seder. The difference between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv during Passover is like black and white. Weeks before Passover had even began, many restaurants, hotels, and homes in Jerusalem were clearing out all of the chametz – and during Passover, you couldn’t even find a piece of bread in the stores. In Tel Aviv, though, I passed venders in the streets selling pita as I was driving to my family’s house, and we even had chametzat the seder table!
I had an unforgettable Passover in Israel and I know I will be bringing back some new knowledge of this holiday to share with my family at home.
here is a blog of some of the other students in EIE and their passover experiences (really neat to check out and read if you have time!) : http://israel.rjblog.org/2012/04/19/this-year-in-jerusalem/
We got back to Tzuba around 5am in the morning from our Poland trip, and once i got into my room I literally feel asleep until about 12:30 pm. We had class for about 3 days before we went to Jerusalem to stay in a youth hostel for 2 days. Before we got to the hostel we went on a full day field trip to Tel Aviv and Jaffo. Jaffo is a main port in Tel Aviv and in the old city there was a shuk, and other little markets. There wasn’t really much to do in the hostel since the only classes that were going on weren’t any of the ones that I was taking - so basically I just got to lay out and take naps in the sun all day.
The next day on our journey in Poland wasn’t as emotional as yesterday - we went to the Krackow Main Square which was gleaming with life. We got to spend about 2 hours there to get lunch, and explore around. It reminded me so much of France, I was having a hard time having fun and laughing with my friends because the constant thought in the back of my head kept reminding me that here, where i was having fun - millions of Jews had died. This was like that the whole entire trip though. I had pizza with a few friends, and we walked around the city and looked at the farmers market and shops that were all around.
Afterwards, we met up with our Jewish history class and we walked around in the Jewish quarter in Krackow - going to different synagogues that were there. Seeing the different architecture of each one was really amazing. Then we walked the same way the Jews from the Jewish quarter in Krackow walked to the ghetto; which was about a 4 minute walk over a bridge. Once we reached the other side we talked about different stories from the Holocaust that involved the Jews that were from there.
Later that day we went to Schindler’s factor - we didnt go inside, but we did hear 2 stories of non-jews who helped the Jews escape from the Holocaust.
The next day we woke up at 5:30 am, got on a bus a drove to Auschwitz 2 (Beercanal). When we arrived, the first thing that you could see were the train tracks leading your eyes through the tall brick gates into the camp. This camp is different than Maidonick though, it has 2 sides (men and women) and it’s so much nicer too - brick buildings and the old tall trees just standing there. In the midst of the bitter cold wind and the rain, we tredged through the camp and I couldn’t stop thinking about how much it looked like a movie set. Many of the brick building had been destroyed so you could only see the chimneys of the barraks.
All throughout the time we were walking through the camp I kept thinking why none of it was hitting me.
We walked more and got to a building called the “Sauna” - which is where the Jews and non - Jews had to strip everything they have/own at that moment and give it to the Nazi’s. I went through the building and went past the disinfect-ors everyone had to go through, the showers and the hair cutting station. It was hard to imagine anything so horrible could happen here - there aren’t any props, just an empty room with a small black board briefly describing what had happened in that certain room.
Pictures from March - field trip in Sivat (up North) and some shabbats
Poland part 2:
The next day we went to the old city of Lublin for an activity with our Jewish history class. Afterwards we went to a yeshivah that is currently no longer in use to study Talmud. Once that was over with we went to the maidonick death camp. I was so shocked, it looked just like a movie set; and I couldn’t comprehend that this was actually a place where thousands of Jews had died. We went around the camp, some of us with Israeli flags wrapped around us jut in awe. Listening to the different stories of the Jews, seeing the living conditions. Although everything was so shocking it hadn’t hit me. We went to the crematorium and there was a bathtub in the corner of the room for the German generals to bathe while watching the Jewish bodies burn. Our while group said the mourners kadish. When we walked outside afterwards all you could see in the view was the city of Lublin, and you could hear the dogs parking and the cars moving - all the ran through my head was how anyone in their right mind could just see it from their backyard and accept that it was okay. We walked to a dome that was filled with all of the ashes that they had found; and that was where it hit me. You would see prices of bones popping out of the pile in the midst of ashes. We had a memorial service and then left.