After our first few days in Jerusalem I can honestly say it feels like we have been here forever…. like coming home again. Enjoy our photos and reflections… tomorrow we venture south to the Negev and then on to Tel Aviv.
You will notice the introduction of some beautiful photography taken by Alex, Legacy Tour college fellow. Quite impressive!
July 7, 2012
Israel- the final leg of our journey. When we landed in Tel Aviv, we recited the Shehekianu, a prayer for new beginnings. Being here is certainly a new experience for all of us! In Poland and Germany we visited so many towns that used to be thriving Jewish centers; so many synagogues that used to be filled with the voices of people praying and rejoicing; so many communities that had tradition, faith, and love. The effects of the Holocaust could be found in virtually every part of the two countries, and despite the Jewish revivals in cities like Krakow, there is so much left to rebuild—so much was lost.
Israel, however, is a country that is bursting with life—not only Jewish life, but so many other religions and ethnicities. You can feel the energy as you walk through the streets—it’s magnetic. The contrast to Poland is so drastic. As Rabbi Peretz said, “We are in a community that is living in the now.”
Our first night in Israel was Shabbat, and we celebrated it in the best way possible. At sundown we made our way to the old city, to the Western Wall. The number of people there was overwhelming! Walking though the mass of women in the women’s side was incredible—everyone was dancing, singing, and praying. We wove through the crowd hand in hand until we finally made it to the wall. It towered above us—built with enormous stones that were covered in small notes with hopes, dreams, wishes and prayers. The tiny scraps of paper seemed like they were almost part of the wall. We joined the large circle of girls who were dancing and singing with so much joy. It was an extremely powerful experience that I believe had a little bit of magic in it.
Israel—is such an extraordinary country… I think I can speak for almost everyone that we have fallen in love with it!
-Eva, high school participant