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Blue and White Celebration

This past week at Midreshet Moriah was filled with tons of excitement and hype. Last Wednesday, we observed Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haaztmaut together as a nation. Blue and white covered the city of Jerusalem and Israeli flags hung everywhere.

Tuesday night, we attended a Yom Hazikaron tekes (ceremony) for fallen soldiers at the Latrun tank museum. There, with hundreds of other young Masa participants we heard the stories of five soldiers killed in action and one girl killed in a terrorist attack. May their memories be a blessing. The next morning, we all walked to Har Herzl (Israel's military cemetery in Jerusalem) and stood at attention for a nationwide siren along with soldiers, family members and friends of the fallen, and hundreds of others who came to pay their respect to those who fell during their service for Israel. After the siren and the Prime Minister's speech which was broadcasted over loud speakers, we walked around visiting graves and listening to the stories of the soldiers buried there. We were all humbled and in awe of the stories we heard from the family and friends of the brave heroes buried there. It was very meaningful and like no other Yom Hazikaron that any of us had ever experienced.

Wednesday night began the transition from mourning to sheer celebration in Israel. We traveled to Efrat and kicked off Yom Ha’aztmaut with a community gathering with music, entertainment and fireworks followed by a falafel party at the lovely Bracha Krohn's house. Thank you so much to the Krohn family for once again hosting us all for what is always a fantastic time at the Krohn home.     

Thursday morning we had time to ourselves and many of us chose to wake up early and attend various celebratory davenings around Jerusalem. About 20 girls went to the special Shlomo Katz davening at the Ramban shul where they ran into a few of our teachers! Afterwards we attended an IDF fair at Ammunition Hill (Givat Hatachmoshet). This was the first area that was conquered in 1967 during the Six Day War adn we had time to explore the area and learn from IDF paratroopers about the various different ways IDF soldiers train and the tools they use to defend the country. Then we drove to Moshav Aminadav outside of Jerusalem. There, accompanied by a musician, we danced and sang waving Israeli flags and felt the true celebration of the day. Like true Israelis to honor the day, we had a delicious bbq  provided by the one and only Gush Gourmet and then played sports outside. Afterwards, Vicky Berglas was so kind as to tell us the amazing story of her and her husband's Aliyah. We were all inspired by her tale of Zionist heroism and her devotion to the land of Israel.

Thank you to Midreshet Moriah and all its faculty who worked tirelessly to make this past week one none of us will ever forget!

Rachel Roth and Leah Rossberg



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