Our first stop in Tel Aviv was Kikar Rabin. We only spent a few minutes there for the Yom HaZikaron siren. We saw the cars stopping and the people on their balconies, talked briefly about Rabin and the square (we'll be back tomorrow to talk more), and then headed to the Palmach Museum. I don't know if it sank in for everyone - the connection between The Silver Platter and the Palmach Museum and Tel Aviv. It was very meaningful to me, though, to start here on Yom HaZikaron in tribute to the fact that all of the amazingness that TA has to offer was fought and sacrificed for. We even ran into an actual 90 year old Palmachnik who told us about his personal accounts.
Switching gears, we headed to the Taglit/Birthright Innovation Center at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. There are demonstrations and displays of all kinds of hi-tech innovations and a discussion about why Israelis are innovative. It's such an inspiring place. It really reminds the kids how important it is to study computer programming and combine it with Tikun Olam.
After, we went back to Shfayim and prepared for the Mini Israel Canada-Israel Experience Yom Ha'Atzmaut Extravaganza. It was wonderful to see Ross, Nathan, Daniel, and Yael back in Israel and even Mini Israel where I celebrated with them as grade 9 students. And to see Tamar and Sydney who I haven't taught for a long time but are obviously long-time TT-ers. The kids were also delighted to see all their BBYO buddies. Cale went so far as to hint that the party may have been more enjoyable than EVEN the jeep rides (as if that's possible!).
At the ceremony, they showed a video of a survivor who had his bar mitzvah in Krakow during this March of the Living and read Magash HaKeseph. Gil Troy was the keynote speaker and identified seven miracles of Israel. From the revival of Hebrew to the overachieving scientists to the stupifying military triumphs, he brought home the point that Magash HaKesef also makes.
But the transition happened as it does every year. As Gil pointed out, the War of Independence began the day after the UN vote of 1947. The greatest joy had turned into grave sorrow. And now we have the privilege and even the duty to flip that and celebrate what has been served on magash hakesef. They moshpitted for hours, we all had some shwarma and felafel, and finally it was back to Shfayim.
Today we were invited to Osi's former teacher Nechama Weiss's house in Beit Yanai for more celebration. We brought the food, Sami (our driver) cooked it with Rafa (our medic), we went to the beach next door, and ended with dinner in Tel Aviv.
I hope that the TT assembly went well and that the community extravaganza tonight is also as fun as the jeep rides. Chag sameach, everyone!
You can see our live greeting at https://youtu.be/_7hnGr81MD4