Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jerusalem Day 2, Yad Vashem, Ein Karem, Lunch at a Nursery with Pizza Dough Making!

Our day started with a tour of Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Museum.  To say it was inspiring and moving is an understatement.  The building is remarkable, a triangular shaped glass, concrete, steel structure that is mostly underground.

The museum is laid out as a series of rooms, that historically recreate the Holocaust.  You zig zag back and forth across its' length, following the path of the evil doers as they progressed from country to country.  Walls were covered with photos, all taken by the Nazis, of Jews and Gypsies being rounded up and carted off.  We were interested in the Hungary room, since that was the home of Robert's family.  We stumbled upon a photo album, that had photographs of all the people taken from a village near the Carpathian Mountains who were being taken by train to Auschwitz.  We were so shocked, we thought that it might have pictures of Robert's grandparents and his aunt.  Can you imagine being so dehumanized, to photograph such an event?  Walking from room to room, the portrayal of hate was overwhelming.  And to think some try to deny the Holocaust...oh yeah, it was all Photoshopped.

Outside, more memorials.

These Walls of the Righteous honor those who helped the Jews during the Holocaust.  The name of the Polish doctor who helped hide Robert's grandparents and father is on the wall.

 Then we went to the Memorial for the Children.  I didn't know that of the 6 million Jews killed, 1.5 million were children.  The memorial was dark inside, with a series of mirrors and a few candles, that reflected and reflected, a reflection for each child.  You had to hold on to a handrail, because it was so dark and disorienting.  It was beautiful.

We left the museum and traveled down the hill to Ein Karem, the childhood home of John the Baptist.  In Hebrew, ein means spring.  It was a lovely village, another historical spot, a nice change of what we had just seen.  The natural spring:

Russian church.

 Picturesque old buildings.

Then we climbed up a mountain, tavelling through Abu Ghoush, and Arab village that politically aligns with the Israelis...a 4 spired mosque:

Next we had lunch at a restaurant, with a nursery.  Here is where I fell in love with Yardan (means Jordan) Gewurtztraminer...Yardan makes excellent wines.  It was a fun, sort of funky, experience.

I think we went back to the hotel and was a full day!

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