By: Alexa Kopp
Safe to say today was an emotional day for "Mishpuche 93," as we have all come to call our tight-knit group.
Today we all woke up, packed our bags, loaded up the bus and headed to the Old City of Jerusalem. There, we received a brief tour of the Jewish Quarters and made our way to the Kotel.
The Kotel was beautiful, and instantly connected all of us with our religion. We had the amazing opportunity to write notes for ourselves and our loved ones and put them in The Wall. For me, I never would have imagined I'd have the chance to pray and reflect on my life and the people in it at such a holy site. The entire experience left me speechless, as this trip to the Kotel was much different from our experience on Shabbat.
One of the highlights today was the chance to witness 5 b'nai mitzvot at the Kotel! We sang songs and danced as Abby Stiekman, Aron Stark, Kelly Lippman, Michelle Jijon, and Phillip Stekol fulfilled one of the most symbolic mitzvot, Mazel Tov!!!
Afterwards, we had the chance to grab a bite to eat and shop inside the beautiful and historic city. Unfortunately, Mount Herzel was cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Instead, we paid a visit to Ammunition Hill where one of the most pivotal battles of the six-day war took place. Symbolically, this is where we took the opportunity to reflect on our time spent with our soldiers (and newly added family members) and thank them for the opportunity to meet and really spend precious time with them.
They have truly influenced our lives for the better and have made this experience in Israel that much more incredible! The goodbye's were long and emotional as no one thought we could ever become so close to one another so quickly. After many heartfelt hugs and many, many tears we left our soldiers at Ammunition Hill and are now headed to Tel Aviv for a night out!
Today was a roller-coaster full of emotions for all of us, as we had the time to reflect on ourselves as well as the relationship we have with each other and Hashem.
The friendships that have formed thus far on this trip are both unexpected and incredible. It's amazing how people so different from one another are all still alike in so many ways. Although we are incredibly sad to leave our soldiers, they are a part of our crazy beautiful family now and we know we will see them again soon..
להתראות! (Untill next time !)