2022 Israel Study Tour: Day #9

Ben Smietana


Big Day at the Kotel

Many of the students had been eagerly awaiting their visit to the Kotel. Today they finally received their chance. 

The day started with a joyful Tefillah near the Kotel that included singing and dancing. 

For much of the morning, the students learned about the history of the Kotel, the Old City, and the various structures that they comprise. This included a virtual reality tour that imagined an experience of the Second Temple as it probably existed. 

Students also prepared their notes to leave at the Kotel, including notes that had been sent along from first-grade students at Gideon Hausner. At last, they visited and prayed at the wall. 

After lunch and shopping in the Jewish Quarter, the students visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and learned more about Christianity’s connection to Jerusalem. 

For most of the afternoon, we visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and received a tour that lasted nearly three hours. The visit ended with a chance for the students to share their reflections on the experience. 

The students returned to the Kotel after dinner to explore the tunnels underneath and learn more about the archeological history of the site. Our night time visit saw an enormous crowd at the wall for a military induction ceremony. 

Tomorrow will include a final visit to the Kotel before exploring more of Jerusalem.

Ben S.


Michael and Mati's Summary

What’s up Hausner fam! Mati and Michael here.

We started off the day doing Tefillah in the Kotel. Many of the students did Tefillin. We put our notes and the first graders' notes on the Kotel wall.

After all of that we had a virtual reality experience of the history of the Kotel. We then walked around the whole Old Temple. We saw the walls and the architecture of the Old Temple. We also walked on the steps that Jesus Christ walked on. It was all extremely interesting to learn about. It’s crazy to think that we were on a piece of history that is thousands of years old.

After all of that we had pizur lunch, which is when we go to a street with many stores and restaurants. In groups of four we can go to any of the restaurants available. Pizur lunches are one of the best parts of Israel. They give a sense of freedom and responsibility to us “young adults.” 

We then visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We got to learn about Christianity, and we visited the place where Jesus was said to have died and been resurrected. The church was huge and had such magnificent artworks displayed on all of its walls.

Moving on, we visited Yad Vashem, which was definitely the most serious part of the trip. It was moving to see all the exhibits and inspiring to learn about all of the people who had to go through the horrific Holocaust.

For dinner we had another pizur. There were such great choices to choose from.

Our last activity was walking the underground tunnels of the Temple. It was cool to see all of the foundational pieces of the Second Temple and its walls. There were also such great visual diagrams to help us learn the history of the Kotel and how it came to be.

All right Hausner fam, this is it from Michael and Mati. Peace ✌️


 

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