Hope

By Vera - April 16, 2018

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This was our first week back from a beautiful Passover break. It was the best Passover of my life! I spent it with three friends from the OSP and the other amazing people we met on a program in Tsfat called Livnot U’Lehibanot. We went through the whole Seder, and I played the part of “Ten Plagues” during a skit. I feel so blessed to have spent this Passover in Israel.

This was definitely a week where I learned more outside of the classroom.

This was a heavy week. Almost every day we discussed difficult topics. Thursday was Holocaust Remembrance Day, and people across the country opened their living rooms for members of the community to hear survivors share their stories. I was honored to take part in this commemoration by listening to a woman talk in front of strangers as well as her own children and grandchildren about the suffering she endured. I was really touched by how important her family and her faith were in her survival.

As sad as Holocaust Remembrance Day was, I felt a strong sense of community. I stood still for a minute as a siren went off across all of Israel, and even cars were stopping on highways. Everyone was affected in different ways, either directly or indirectly, by the Holocaust, but in this moment that everyone was taking to reflect, I knew that I wasn’t alone.

Friday, we heard reserve soldiers talk about their experiences in Gaza. Before that, we heard a resident of a moshav near the border discuss her life there. Her kids grew up hearing up to 20 rocket sirens a day and sleeping in bomb shelters. It was eye opening to see how, in hopes of a peaceful future, this community remains on the moshav.

I love the strength in people’s stories; in listening with an open mind, and learning about different opinions.