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Yom Hazikaron & Yom Ha'atzma'ut

Our students experienced the powerful connection between Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael -  in historic and modern times - since their return after the Pesach break.

We began our commemoration of Yom HaShoah last week with our students reflections on their trip to Poland only a few weeks ago. Our students were moved by the words of their peers and got a glimpse into what they experienced in Poland. The rest of the day was spent participating in Holocaust themed shiurim about the resistance, "Mesirut Nefesh" and specific she'elot and teshuvot of that time period.

A few days later, we toured Har Herzl, the National Military Cemetery. Rav Wexler led the students to various locations and educated them about the lives and deaths of the special people buried in this famous cemetery.  On Sunday evening we joined with thousands of other English speakers at Park Ra'anana for a special program in memory of the chayalim who have died protecting our country.

On Yom Hazikaron morning we participated in a ceremony at the Kfar Etzion cemetery where we heard speeches by government and military officials, as well as family members of Israeli soldiers who have been killed in action. This moving experience - highlighted by the siren and the national moment of silence - gave our student a better appreciation for what it means to be a part of the Jewish people. After the ceremony, Rabbi Goldstein led the students through the cemetery, stopping at various graves of soldiers and victims of terror, such as Koby Mandel and other heroes of the Gush Etzion area. Later in the day many students chose to go back and visit Har Herzl, to further pay their respects to the modern heroes of our people.

The transition from the sadness of Yom Hazikaron to the joy of Yom Ha'atzmaut was felt by all on our trip to Chashmonaim, a yishuv located near Modiin. We celebrated with the members of the Yishuv through a Tefilla Chagigit and a tekes. We were hosted by Mrs. Chana Spiegleman and her family for dinner and were inspired by her personal – and emotional - reflections on her own aliyah journey and being the mother of Israeli soldiers.
Yom Ha'atzmaut is a celebration of the modern state of Israel and in order to enhance our appreciation of our land, it is customary to take "tiyulim" (trips) to places all over the country. We began the day though with an unforgettable Tefillah at the shul in Neve Daniel here our own Rav Weissberg and some others led the kehilla in a musical Hallel and inspired us all.  Our girls really enjoyed spending the "chag" with our own Rabbi Knapel and Rav Rafi as they spent the day hiking like the Israelis do. The highlight of the day though was the traditional BBQ – at the home of Rav Goldstein where the girls enjoyed an amazing dinner to end off a most memorable day.