Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Trip To Israel, Part 2

(again, it's what I wrote down that night)
I woke up at 6:00 AM. Had about 2.5 - 3 hours of sleep. We davened, ate breakfast (with some other guests staying at our motel (we had no idea they'd be together with us for some parts of the day, like breakfast today, trust me)) and got onto the bus.
Today is: Golan Heights Day. There are 20,000 Jews in the Golan. I think either 20 or 40,000 goyim, and 40,000 cows!! There used to be 1 traffic light, but now there are none.
We went hiking down to the Gilabon and Devorah Waterfalls, near Kazrin. The hike was pretty intense. We did it for like 3 hours. I swam around in the Gilabon Waterfall. Pretty cool. We chilled out in a cave with bats halfway through the hike. It's good I had brought a 1.5 liter bottle of water, or else... Chas V'Shalom. We were all really tired and smelly and sweaty, when we finally left, to go eat lunch.
After lunch, we visited an old village of a Rabbi Bumi, and a shul where it's possible that the authors of the Talmud Yerushalmi lived and learned. Then we went to a woman's house, who lived in Elonei HaBashan, about a stone's throw (maybe for my governator, but not really for me) from the border with Syria. Her 17 year old son was murdered in a Yeshiva somewhere in Israel. He and 3 others were in the kitchen, when terrorists dressed as soldiers came in, armed to the teeth. One bochur had a gun, but used his 2 seconds instead to jump to the door which led to the dining room where 100 bochurim were enjoying their shabbos meal, to lock the door. All 4 bochurim were killed. This lady wrote a children's book to help teach how to cope with loss. She was inspired to write it from a dream where she saw exactly what to write....it was a little strange.
We then went to Eli Rom, where we watched in a movie theater a 24-minute documentary about the tank battle in the Golan during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, and how the 77th Battalion of the 7th Brigade defeated the Syrians, even though the Syrians outnumbered them 5 to 1, and were better equipped and had better technology. All the footage and radio were authentic. It was quite moving.
Then we went to the top of Har Bental, where there used to be an army base. Normally it provides an incredible view of the Golan and Syria, but tonight we were literally inside a cloud.
I'm starting to feel a sense of beauty and love and appreciation for this incredible country. I"d write more about my feelings, but I'm way too tired.