Romi ~ We woke up at 6:30, the earliest time we have woken up on the trip, so we could get to Jerusalem early. Although it was hard to get out of bed it felt good to sleep on a comfortable bed after a night at the army base. We drove to Jerusalem and just before we could see the Kotel (Western wall) Ben and Hannah closed their eyes. We all held their hands and led them downstairs to see the magnificent view of the Kotel. Then we carried on to the Kotel tunnels, which is the holiest place for the Jewish people as its closest to the temple. The western wall and the remains left in the tunnels are a part of the wall that King Harrods built around the temple. Now there is an arabic neighborhood above the tunnels. After the interesting tour we walked back through the Muslim quarter to the Kotel. Each of us went to the Kotel and went in separate ways to do our own thing and say what we wanted to say. I always feel very emotional at the Kotel and most connected to G-d, because I feel like he is there listening to me.
Then Noa our tour guide took us on a tour around the Jewish quarter and we had some free time to go shopping, and of course the girls wanted to go to Hadaya, a famous jewelry shop.
Afterwards, we quickly walked to Mamilla Street to have lunch in a restaurant with a bar mitzvah family from the Rabbi’s and Aviva’s community. We had amazing Italian food. We had salads, pizza and pasta, but unfortunately we had to leave a bit after the family arrived as we were in a rush to get to our next destination, Yad Va’shem. Yad Va’shem, a Holocaust Memorial museum, was an emotional and powerful experience. When you walk in, the museum is in a shape of a triangle and there is a movie shown about the 1920s and how everything started, but when you come out of the museum the triangle is small and it leads you outside to the beautiful view of the mountains in Jerusalem. This is to show that “there is always light at the end of the tunnel”, although the Jewish people in Europe went through so much the only thing that kept them alive was hope. This is an inspiration for us that even when things seem very bad there is always hope for better.
We drove to Tel-Aviv to the Azrieli shopping mall. Each of us had money to have our own choice of dinner. Afterwards, we had a surprise activity in the mall. We were put into groups of 4 or 3 and we had to go around doing tasks like filming a family singing “Hatikva” and taking a picture of us with a chef hat. The last task, which was the weirdest was to ask a “savta” or grandmother for food, which of course not one of us could do. When we all gathered together Aviva said “let’s go and find a grandma so you can finish the task.” We walked up the stairs to a restaurant and suddenly I see my grandparents, auntie, uncle and cousin!!!!! I had no idea they would be there! For the next hour I hung out with my family while everyone else went shopping. It was nice to be with them in Israel and a great surprise. My grandma brought everyone cookies and rugalah to give us to complete the final task! Everyone took a bus back to the hostel, so I stayed a little longer to have some more time with my family. I said goodbye to my family and then went to the hostel and was so tired that I went right to sleep.