• Momentum MJF


by Sara Hermanoff and Jodi Sprinkmann

Patrick our Israeli-Canadian-French-Morrocan guide used today's theme of faithfulness & trust to create a meaningful experiential day. Sababa💛

First Stop - Yad Vashem: quotes and observations

  • "In the most difficult times of our life the seeds of hope are planted."

  • "Begin in darkness, end in the light."

  • Writing on the wall: "Do not think you will succeed in destroying the Jewish People. The Jewish People will live forever...Shema Yisrael" Rabbi Moshe Friedman spoke prior to being murdered in Auschwitz gas chambers.

  • Book recommendation: "Out of the Depths"

  • Israel a place of refuge / 1947 partitioned by UN / Israel Declaration of Independence

Second stop -Walked Connecting Path to Mt Herzl where 10,000 soldiers and leaders are buried. It is built in terraces down the mountain.

We learned about the National Leaders of the Zionist History section:

  • Shimon Perez

  • Yitzhak Rabin (whose yahrtzeit ceremony was two days ago)

  • Golda Meir (1898-1978)

  • Recommended reading: "My Life biography"

  • Teddy Kollek: Mayor of Jerusalem, raised money to build up the city

  • Hannah Senesh-She was born in Hungary & lived in Israel during WWII. Their squad parachuted back in, was killed & she was brought back to Israel for burial in an exchange.

  • Theodor Herzl

Jewish cemetery traditions

  • Rock on tomb meaning:

  • "Eternal vs flowers & dust to dust"

  • The box is for a candle on Yom Hazikaron/Memorial DayIsraelis are one big family, on Memorial Day soldiers are assigned to each grave so no buried soldiers are alone.

Movie recommendation: "Above and Beyond" (documentary of Israel's first air force)

Mamilla mall - bridge from West and East Jerusalem - designed by same architect as Yad Vashem

Old City tour -

  • Entered via Jaffa Gate 7 gates total

  • Protective walls - rebuilt 500 years ago by Ottoman Turks

Made up of 4 quarters/living within:

  • Christian 2000 people

  • Muslim 25000 people

  • Jewish 2000 people

  • Armenian 2000 people

At the gate entrance is a mezuzah made from Israeli soldiers Uzi guns.

"Israel is a salad: mixing of diversity, not melting pot."

Armenian quarter: first nation to become Christian, 1915-1923 1.5 million Turks murdered - genocide/ resettled in Jerusalem

300 security cameras throughout the Old City

Yeshiva is the first thing we see entering the Jewish quarter, many 18 year olds come to Jerusalem to learn and study.

Seminary girl quote: "We learn to live a meaningful life"

700 families live in the Jewish quarter

Western Byzantine Cardo (ancient Roman road) / coffee and shopping break

Impromptu dancing in the main square of the Jewish quarter: dancing with am Yisrael Chi and Shalom Aleichem, Hava Nagila!

Writing on wall: Prophet Zachariah "One day old men and old women will return to the streets of Jerusalem and we will hear the laughter."

Yeshiva boys study 364 days of year, we're outside playing ball and climbing trees during recess.

Mount of Olives

Kotel - wall of the Temple Mount Is a proud place...took photos overlooking wearing our turquoise pashminas!

Late afternoon program we learned about prayer in preparation for being at the wall -

  • At Kotel "all prayers ascend from this place".

  • "Prayer is the quill of the heart"

Three types of prayer:

  • Help - future

  • Thanks - past

  • Wow - present

Gratitude to Dana & Tzipi for beautifully presenting our siddur and bracelets by Julie Schnoll (thanks Julie!), Followed by meaningful prayer at the Kotel.

Dinner outside at Cafe Rimon, delish!

Lailah Tov xo

Jodi & Sara


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