Day 13: Out and About in Tel Aviv

26 Jun

Today started after a long night’s sleep in the Sea Net hotel in Tel Aviv. And while, hands down, sleeping in the desert in the Bedouin tent and waking up at four to see the desert sunrise from Masada was one of the most amazing experiences ever, I think that we can all agree that sleeping under down comforters and sipping complimentary breakfast tea in our rooms was an acceptable form of affliction.

After waking up in Israel’s largest city, we drove slash walked to 16 Rothschild Boulevard, Israel’s Independence Hall. Here, through an albeit cheesy 90’s film, we learned about both Tel Aviv’s rise from literally nothing and Israel’s inception as a modern nation. For me, at least, this was definitely on the top of the list of the most fascinating museums that we visited. Sitting in the same room, which was set the same way as when independence was declared in 1948, and hearing a recording of David Ben-Gurion’s powerful voice reading the words of the Israeli Declaration of Independence was at the very least inspirational.

After the Hall, we continued walking to Rabin Square, the site of Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, and for many, the death of what could have been lasting peace for Israel with its neighboring nations. Today, changed into a sidewalk-sized monument, the square is now watched over by a large brass bust of Rabin, a solemn black stone monument in his memory, and the Israeli flags for remembrance and hope for the future.

After some more walking, we went to the city Shuk and artist’s market for some more shopping for gifts and lunch and also a gift exchange game. But the day didn’t end there. Back at the hotel, we participated in several end-of-trip programs and overall grew as a group and a family.

Today was a very fun and relaxing day. But more importantly, I think, it helped to remind us of the balance between goofing off and fulfilling our ‘mission.’ Tomorrow we might be leaving Israel, but today more than ever, we remembered that Israel won’t ever be leaving us.

-Alex Eiffert, Bob Malkin Young Ambassadors 2013

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