Yad Veshem and Mount Herzl

18Jun10

Woke up refreshed after a good night’s sleep in preparation for what we were told would be a depressing day.

The soldiers were asked to come down in uniform for respect of Yad Vashem (explanation below.) The soldiers looked dapper. The hotel served up a solid buffet breakfast, full of everything that is mediterranean. With the amount of traveling we do, the “full” feeling only lasts about 2 hours. We’re hungry shortly later. After breakfast we hopped on the bus and headed to Yad Veshem – the Holocaust Memorial.

The architectual structure itself is very cool. Its shaped in a triangle, symbolizing two things:

1) Half of a star of David

2) As if the roof was closing in on the Jewish people during the time of the Holocaust.

Our museum tour guide was approximately my age and about to receive his Masters with a specialization in the Third Reich. He was from the UK and spoke at least Hebrew, German, and English – a very bright guy.

The museum is laid out chronologically, from the rise of Hitler to shortly after the Jews were liberated from the concentration camps. Of course, there was rivetting artifacts, videos, and pictures inside the museum. I definitely experienced emotional moments… It’s tough not to.

The purpose of the museum is not just to remember the death of so many, but to remember that each person was an individual and had his/her own story. We were asked to remember the name of one individual person, so their life will not be forgotten.

Interlude – I totally have a crush on one of the Israeli soldiers and I think she has a crush on me too. We sit together on the bus all the time and I like to stand and walk next to her. We’ve been talking a lot… One on one mostly. In the cemetary I had her read me gravestones (romantic, I know.) I like to be around her, and I like talking to her… So if we need to talk about gravestones – I’m down. I ask a lot of questions so I’m also learning a lot.

She’s super cute, (I twit pic’d her before) nice, and smart. She speaks English very well (as do most of the Israeli soldiers) but her mother is an English teacher. One of the guy soldiers whom Shani came with defintely keeps giving me the evil eye. In Yad Veshem I tried to ask him about something about his uniform and he replied “not now” and he sorta walked right by me. Granted the time we were at Yad Veshem definitely wasn’t the appropriate time to ask.

After Yad Veshem, we walked up the street to Mount Herzl. This is the burial place of national Israeli leaders and the military cemetary of Jerusalem. Each Israeli city has their own cemetary for fallen members of their community. It really was a beautiful place. Being here with the Israeli soldiers her, especially Shani.

Notable burials here – Yizhak Rabin, Golda Meir, Mikey Levine, and Jonathon Netanyahu (PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother who died during a military operation to rescue hostages in Africa. Very interesting story, check it out here: (scroll to “page 4”)

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:q9oRLdCQ-pgJ:www.tegreensboro.org/uploads/4183AShortBiographyofJonathanNetanyahu.pdf+jonathon+netanyahu&cd=5&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&ie=UTF-8&client=ms-rim

Mikey Levine also has an interesting story. He’s an American kid from Philly who joined the Israeli Defense Force as a paratrooper and was killed when a missle hit his barrack. His story here: http://www.israelnewsagency.com/michaellevinisraelidfzionistherolebanonwarparatroopers48072907.html

Tonight, we celebrate shabbat at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. It don’t get much more authentic than that.

As for what’s goin on in MY life… Loving this trip. Great bunch of people, guys and girls. Not as much partying as I expected, but that’s definately a good thing with the amount of activities we do during the day.

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One Response to “Yad Veshem and Mount Herzl”

  1. 1 daddy of andrew and matt

    Nice to see and read anothers trip that I just read and saw through my sons eyes. Enjoy the enlightenment. A once in a lifetime trip. Also enjoy the girl but don’t tell mom. Haha


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