Fifth Day

It is a beautiful day in Jerusalem, sunny and warm, but not too warm. After another grand Israeli breakfast buffet we boarded the bus and headed for Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial. The new museum presents state-of-the-art exhibits and the story of the Shoah from the perspectives of the individuals, through artifacts, survivior testimonies and personal possessions, presented in a multi-sensory experience. Included in the many things we saw is a memorial to the one and a half million children who perished in the Shoah. As I strolled through the many rooms, I felt much the same as I did in Washington, DC at the museum there. Here are the shoes recovered from the dead bodies, the train cars that herded the Jews to the camps, before and after visions of the towns and villages that are no more and of course the striped pajamas they wore during their incarceration. Here also are the testimonies of survivors filmed by Stephen Spielberg so future generations will never forget.
From Yad Vashem we went to Machane Yehuda, the colorful outdoor market. May I take a moment here to praise our bus driver, Asher, who is able to maneuver that bus around the tighest corners and through the narrowest streets of Jerusalem. He would do very well driving in Manhattan! On this street and in the narrow alleyways, the Jerusalemites scurried about making their final preparartions for Shabbat. Oh, the aromas drifting from the many fish and poultry stands, the fruits and vegetables stacked high upon each other, the figs, dates and nuts in barrels just waiting to be taken home for Shabbat dinner. Of course here is where I planned to have falafel, and I was in no way dissappointed. Even Rich, who thought he didn't like falafel said it was delicious. We also purchased some rugulagh and dates for him to nosh on. The entire scene was like a movie,  a Bourne film, in fact. I thought i would see Matt Damon on a motorbike chasing the bad guys down the hills. It also reminded me of Canal Street because there were clothing shops and other shops with general merchandise and hawkers inticing you in to make a purchase.
Now we are getting ready for Shabbat. Trying to decide where to go to services. At 4pm there will be candle lighting in the lobby and then we go our separate ways, some to a Reform service, some to Conservative and others to an Orthodox shul. But we know that no matter how or where we pray, we are in our homeland - and God hears all our prayers.


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