May 17, 2006
Today was so full of things to see that I feel exhausted and overwhelmed. The morning started on Mt. Scopias - the north end of the Mount of Olives - which gave us a beautiful view of Jerusalem. Then we went to Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum (if you've ever been to the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C. you haven't seen anything until you've been to Yad Vashem). As a history major who favors the moder time period i thrived on this.Inside of Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum
The museum in Washington D.C. does not come anywhere close. There was so much information a whole day wouldn't have been nearly enough time let alone a mere two and a half hours. A small group of us latched ourselves onto a tour guide who was speaking English. She was absolutely amazing at giving us information we never would have got on our own. For example, the average Jew in the concentration camps was getting about 180 calories a day. We need approximately 1500 in our daily diet. And despite the small amount of food they were getting they were still expected to work a 12 hour day! This boggles my mind! The few hours at the museum was numbing and exhausting. It was beautiful to hear the personal stories of so many who survived and yet so horrible to know all that they experienced. I cannot imagine having to recound the stories continuously for others. I have so much to say and yet no word come to mind. Later that day we went to the Israel museum where we saw the Dead Sea Scrolls.The Shrine of the Book - the monument where they are displayed - was beautiful.Seeing such an amazing discovery laid before my eyes was unreal. Someday, wanting to go into archival work and preserving historical documents made this experience especially exciting and important knowing the work that went into saving these documents. Before the end of this trip we will visit Qumran which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found accidently by a shepherd boy (you'll hear more about that in a few entries).