here' a tiny blurb about the last ulpan trip, february 28th
after the desert, i returned to Jerusalem to join the ulpan for one final tiul (trip). we met at yad v'shem , the holocaust memorial museum. all of Mt. Herzl is a remembrance to the holocaust, and the architecture of the museum itself is amazing, basically a suspended triangle that looks out over jerusalem. the museum is a long hallway with rooms on either side so that you sort of snake your way through, deeper and deeper into the horror. at the first end, there was video of pre-holocaust jews, celebrating, dancing, etc. i was very moved by seeing cross-gender dancing (a bunch of young women and men in a big circle, dancing to tunes that the VB's play!) from the early 20th century--the gender separation for dancing among religious people is pretty intense.
needless to say, the whole experience was totally overwhelming. the replica of a train car and the mini model of the body-burning set up were most striking to me. but room after room contained countless heartwrenching stories and many small objects that had been recovered or found.
for now i'm going to move on, there's more to say but its all a bit overwhelming.
from the museum, we went into the old city of jerusalem for a quick bite before entering the tunnels to go underneath the western wall. descending below street level, we walked through tunnels of ancient rock, covered up by later construction. clear windows below our feet showed through to more down below. it was pretty stunning.
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