Tuesday began as a normal day for us. We woke up early (maybe a little too early, as usual, if you ask the icicles), davened, ate a nice breakfast, and boarded the bus.
But today we were not about to go on one of our usual water hikes or sight seeing. We were on our way too volunteer to help victims of terror. We broke up into smaller groups and went with our advisors and staff to individual families, helping them with whatever they needed and getting to know them a little. Though I wouldn’t necessarily call it fun, it was a very good experience and we felt like we connected to and were able to help our fellow Jews living in Israel.
We then got a chance to do some shopping and have some fun at Ben Yehuda street, which was a lot of fun, and made our purses a bit lighter… but you know… the mommies and daddies deserve their gifts. 🙂
After that we had to “shift gears” into serious mode for Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Har Hertzel Military Cemetery. While at Har Hertzel, we paid our respects to those who fell to protect us so we could live safely in the land of Israel. We found out that the funeral of one of the soldiers killed yesterday fighting for us in Gaza was going on while we were at the cemetery, so we decided to attend and pay our respect and show our support. As we stood there and cried together, we recited some Tehillim for our soldiers and wondered how we go on in our trip and have fun after a day like that. The answer is that those who sacrificed and lost their lives, whether in the holocaust or in attacks on Israel would want exactly that, for us to live our lives as Jews and have a good time in our home land. By going on and having the best summer ever here in Israel, we validate their sacrifice.
After, we had dinner and some free time at the hotel, then welcomed Rabbi Eitan Katz, Director of New Jersey NCSY, who spoke to us about his 20 years in the Israeli Army.