HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! We wanted to share Part 2 of Lori’s story of Traveling with
THREE GENERATIONS as a Mother’s Day story!
Three Generations in Israel – Part 2
(read PART ONE: CLICK HERE)
Day 4 – By the end of today, I am in overload from all the information I absorb today. My mother and I are so pleased with our guide yesterday, we hire him for another day. Charles, our guide, begins with two stops at viewpoints and he shares with us the history of Jerusalem and it is incredible to look at the spectacular view and hear stories of Kings and Crusaders, Jews, Christians and Muslims, archeology and architecture. My mother and I eagerly ask questions and are amazed at all this small city has survived.
Next, we go to one of my favorite places, the Israel Museum. We are lucky enough to be here for the King Herod exhibit which you should see if you are in Israel. Remembering our King Herod lesson from Caesarea, we feel a bit knowledgeable as we walk though the exhibit. Learning about life through the objects that were found, is like watching someone put a great puzzle together. That puzzle maker is the late Professor Ehud Netzer who dedicated his life to finding the tomb of King Herod. Professor Netzer sadly died from a fall on one of the excavation sites. We also saw the model city of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea Scrolls and another great exhibit, the saved synagogues for around the world. Seriously, a must see when you are in Jerusalem.
And then off to Tel Aviv. Beautiful drive, no traffic, and I even got a nap. We arrive in Tel Aviv, relax for a bit, and then take a walk to the Tel Aviv Port. Weather is perfect, sunset is gorgeous and food, well, not the best choice, but my mom and I sat for 2 hours enjoying our conversation.
Day 5 – What better way to prepare for this memorial day than a visit to the Rabin Center. Having been there before, I really wanted my mom to see this extraordinary museum. Here is the description from the website – “The Israeli Museum at the Yitzhak Rabin Center is the first and only museum in Israel to explore the development of the State of Israel as a young democracy. Built in a downward spiral, the Museum presents two parallel stories: the history of the State and Israeli society, and the biography of Yitzhak Rabin.” I love this museum. It tells the story of a man, husband, father, grandfather, soldier, prime minister, leader. It is inspirational, emotional and educational. And my mother loved it too!
In the evening we attend a very moving Yom Hazikaron ceremony honoring those who have died for their country. Seeing 6th graders sing and read thoughtful messages of remembrance is emotional.
Following the ceremony, we are taken to a large intersection where we watch as drivers get out of their cars at 8:00pm when we hear the siren that memorialize the fallen soldiers. It is daunting to imagine this happens all across the country. As witnesses to this moment at this intersection, we are immediately engaged in conversations about how we commemorate Memorial Day in Los Angeles. It made us all think about how different we are in that respect.
Day 6 – We take it easy today and have breakfast at the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel, one of the best breakfasts in Tel Aviv. We walk back to our hotel on a path overlooking the water and it is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Tel Aviv. When we return, we relax in the lobby and wait for some of our group to return from their morning activity commemorating Yom Hazikaron.
At 11:00am, the memorial siren sounds and my mom and I stand with others for its duration. We look out the window and notice a taxi driver standing by his car with his head down. My eyes well up. Around noon, our friends return and we take a walk to the new outdoor area of the Tel Aviv Port. Our friend Mike wants sushi, so that is where we end up. It is perfect to have a delicious lunch coupled with wonderful friends (thanks Mike and Russell) and a gorgeous view. I guess that is a trifecta. So this is vacation!
The past 24 hours in Israel are the saddest of the year and are followed by the most joyous. Our host family invites us over before the celebration which gives us a rare opportunity to share our lives. Perhaps I expect us to be different, but we are very similar – parents who love their children and worry about them too. We talk about our common interests, the kids, education, Jewish practice and music. And then off to the big celebration with their community. The outpouring of hospitality by all the Magen families is extremely kind. The night is way beyond any celebration I have seen in the states – a BBQ picnic on steroids. Music, kids running around spraying each other with foam, so much food, fireworks and kind faces are what I will remember from this evening. My spirit is truly lifted and I feel deeply connected.
Look for Part 3 of the THREE GENERATIONS JOURNEY next week!