MOTL Youth Blog 2018
Memories & reflections from the 2018 youth delegation
Today was the last day of an experience that will be impossible to forget. This adventure we embarked on seems almost surreal. Returning to "normality" will I guess be a challenge within itself.
The last day started with a very early wakeup. We departed on a trip to the Gush Katif Centre, where we learnt about the forceful removal of our very own people. A place where an economy once flourished and Jews lived in harmony with their Arab counterparts. Yet once again, as constantly repeated in history, forced removal took place. Jews were removed and Shuls destroyed. Imagine the anguished parents confused beyond comprehension and their children scared beyond belief, caught in this perpetual tragedy. What I learnt is that anti-semetism is even more intensified and rife than ever before. Remember that this only happened around 20 years ago!!
For the rest of the afternoon, we relaxed and enjoyed our last moments with our new friends, whom we will never forget. An unbreakable bond between us now exists.
This evening, we gathered at Ana Bnei Dan. There we ate supper, then later congregated in a final discussion, to express our personal stories relating to the journey and experiences that we were soon to leave behind.
This is my story:
The Holocaust is something that can never be forgiven. We cannot simply excuse the oppressors for the unforgivable actions in which they willingly partook. Anybody that hasn’t been to the camps, won't truly understand the intensity of our experience. A book cannot describe it, pictures don't do justice to the atrocities. One can listen to a survivor telling his/her story, however one can never fully comprehend the pain that they have been through. No presentation adequately allows one to comprehend the disaster. We, as a group, now share an experience that will be impossible to forget. Previously I never felt an incredibly strong connection to Hashem. Yes, I've always been a very proud Jew and thought that to be enough, however now I comprehend the power of Hashem. Our adventure over the past 2 short weeks, gave us an amazing experience that we shared together as a group, however each and every one of us equally went on our own personal spiritual journey that will remain with us forever. I'm certain that the lessons that we have learnt and the experiences that we have shared, will positively influence the decisions that we make in the future . Words cannot adequately describe what I’m feeling, and I'm certain that the rest of the group feels very much the same way.
One of the most important lesson that I have taken away, is that with darkness comes light and with every tunnel comes an opening. This is undoubtedly Eretz Yisrael!!. Hashem I believe, had a hand in encouraging all of us to come on this trip for a reason. It is now clear that we better understand what it means to be Jewish, what Judaism is and our connections to it. Our inseparable group would never have met, which is a blessing in itself and we would not have the same comprehension of our Zionism and Jewish identity. When we return home to our loved ones, it won't be easy for us to relay what we have seen and done. It will take us time to process where we have been and then to digest it and be able to share it with you in a way that hopefully you can understand
Thank you to everyone who made this trip, something that I will never forget. This experience leaves me with millions of memories some happy and some sad. I probably now have more unanswered questions than before, however this journey of learning doesn't simply end, it is just put on pause, until the next time that we're blessed to be able to continue it.