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Day Six - Jerusalem - by Sheila & Herb Grossman

06/29/2015 01:42:34 AM

Jun29

 

After a sumptuous breakfast, we boarded the bus headed for Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.   Muki, our guide, explained that the name Yad Vashem comes from the Book of Isaiah and was chosen to honor the Jewish victims of the Holocaust who have no one to carry their name after death.  One meaning of Yad is monument and that of Shem is names.  So, it is a remembrance of the names of the otherwise nameless victims.  The goals of Yad Vashem are education, research, documentation and commemoration.    The main building itself is solemn and stark and consists of a long concrete corridor connected to 10 exhibition halls, each dedicated to a different chapter of the Holocaust.  The substance of the exhibit is the various stages of the extermination campaign as it gathered intensity and changed its focus, with the removal of all restraint and concealment at the inception of the war.  We spent over three hours at Yad Vashem and were grateful to have the insights and guidance of our guide Muki. In addition to the Holocaust History Museum, we also saw the Children's Memorial and the Hall of Names.  We were saddened by our visit but also impressed by the meticulous attention to detail and the cutting-edge multimedia presentations.
 
Next we visited the Machaneh Yehudah open-air market where those of us who were no longer bloated from our sumptuous breakfast at the hotel ate some lunch.    You won't find a market like this in Washington!
 
Our next stop was the Shutaf Inclustion Program for Children and Teens with Special Needs in Israel.   This non-profit Jerusalem-based education program was founded in 2007 by two mothers of kids with special needs and is a supplement to the regular in-class education system.
 
After a delicious dinner at a kosher Italian restaurant, we went to see and hear the Night Spectacular program at the Tower of David Museum.   This is a 45-minute sound and light celebration of the history of Jerusalem in its various incarnations during its cycle of destructions and reconstructions.   All of us enjoyed the tromp d'oeil presentation. 
Sun, April 21 2019 16 Nisan 5779