Our first stop today was Yad Vashem, the Jewish National Memorial to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. I thought that my experience with the subject matter would have left me well prepared for today's visit. I couldn't have been more wrong. The terrible story unfolded right before my eyes as I walked through all of the museum's authentic artifacts from the Holocaust. Each had a story to tell that was even more astonishing than the last.
After a quick stop to grab some falafel, we continued on to Mount Herzl to honor the 24,000 Israeli soldiers who have fallen in service. Here we saw the burial sites of Theodor Herzl, Yizhak Rabin, Golda Meir, and many other heroic figures. The Israeli soldiers who have joined our trip provided us with insight about life in the army and personal narratives about lost soldiers. Their words resonated throughout us all as we learned about the life people our age live in Israel. It was truly eye opening.
All in all, it was an extremely impactful day with quite a bit of reflection. We look forward to continuing to the Dead Sea basin tomorrow!
Morgan Brazel, Bus 1297
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,000 Jewish students on Grounds.