Tel Aviv and J-Town (Part II)
Ahhh Shabbat, what an excellent day- relaxing, hanging out by the pool, and hanging with friends are some of the best ways to spend this day of rest. While we were all sad that this was our last Shabbat together, we all took advantage of it. Sitting with each other in the halls for countless hours will be some of the best memories that we will have had from this trip.
We went to Tel Aviv on Sunday to learn about Independence Hall and to Yitzhak Rabin Square where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated. At Independence hall we learned about how David Ben Gurion announced the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. We were able to hear the actual recording from the speech which was really moving. When it was all over, we all stood up and sang Hatikvah. This was really interesting being in the same place where there state of Israel was created. After this, we walked o Yitzhak Rabin Square and learned a little bit about Yitzhak Rabin through the people who were walking around the in square. We also went to the place where Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated and learned about that as well. It upset us to know that a Jew killed Rabin- it is hard for us to wrap our heads around something like this. Everyone we talked to remembered exactly he or she was when it happened which showed how important of a man he was. After all of this, we went to a local hot spot in Tel Aviv...the beach!! Later on that night, we went back to the Western Wall for the final time and we took a tour of the underground tunnels. It was really interesting hearing the story of the creation of the Temple and we were also able to go to the holiest place for Jews (the place that is closest to where the Temple was).
Today, we woke up nice and early and made our way to Jerusalem. We went on a scavenger hunt around Jerusalem to find different things. Some of us met people who lived in Jerusalem for 80 years and he was able to show us where he lived, which was pretty cool. We then took a tour around Jerusalem making stops at the American Consulate, the Prime Minister's and President's house. We learned about the politics in Israel and we were able to somewhat compare it to that of the United States. And when we finished up with the tour, we were able to do one of our favorite activities...shopping! Don't worry mom and dad, we bought you guys some stuff too! Unfortunately, this time had to end and our busy day moved on with a stop at the Knesset (which is the Parliament building in Israel) and then we stopped at the 9/11 memorial. We shared our stories about where we were, what we remember, and how things changed. It was interesting to hear some of the Israelis talk about this as they have unfortunately been more exposed to acts of terror than we have. We lit mourners candles there, and then made our way back to our Kibbutz/hotel to end our day. It's been great so far, we're sad that we only have one day left!!!