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Above: Outside our hosts’ home in the Old City to light the Chanukah candles.

Day 6: Jerusalem

 

We started our last day of the official trip with a visit to Yad Vashem, the world’s leading center of learning on the Holocaust and intolerance. Yad Vashem (pictured right) is also a memorial honoring and remembering both the victims and those that acted as lights in the darkness.

From this experience our group shifted into Shabbat mode with a well-earned rest before our Shabbat experience. We ended the trip with a Shabbat experience hosted by Pamela and Aba Clamen in their beautiful home in the Old City. Our group spent the afternoon and late evening celebrating three important holy days: Shabbat, Chanukah, and Rosh Chodesh (the new month).

 

Reflections from Representative Hannah Kelly

We started out this morning visiting the Yad Veshem Holocaust Museum. To find the words needed to adequately describe what one feels I’m afraid will be very difficult. However, three of many points that I take away from walking through the Museum yesterday I hope might stick with you as they have with me:

  1. A proper education is so important for every individual. As I look at the names of influential Jews listed yesterday who influenced our American Society greatly in a positive way even through difficult times in their lives, because of their commitment to education and advancement, I am humbled. Learning about how during the Holocaust there was such an intense and evil focus on many things by Hitler, including burning all the books, reinforced to me the importance of the education subject as well, and encouragement of literacy in every point of our society and communities in Missouri at every opportunity.
  2. When we as a society try to dehumanize people- the entire world loses. Not much more I can say on this subject adequately as the quote pictured above makes the point I feel very well.
  3. Israel has made amazing leaps and bounds since their beginning. I perceive that it is in huge part due to their generational commitment to understanding their tumultuous history and making sure that each generation coming after understands it as well. Not just from an “educational” point of view, but from what I’ll call here a deep understanding of the heart as well. It drives me to more than ever do the same for those who come after me as an American Citizen & Legislator. It’s my firm belief that when we understand our history on a personal, State, and Federal level in this fashion, it becomes the foundation that strong futures are built off of. Israel and her People are amazing proof of just that.

We ended our day experiencing an amazing Shabbat Dinner with a local family in the Old City of Jerusalem. From the beginning to the end it was hands down one of the most relaxing yet inspiring and thought provoking dinners I’ve attended in years.

As we conclude our trip here in the Holy Land, I head home with a grateful heart and even stronger commitment to take what I have learned back to effectively use not just in my role of public service, but my personal life as well.

 

Reflections From Representative Jean Evans

After a somber morning, we joined the Clamen family for Shabbat dinner. I could write an entire book about this incredible experience. The hosts were incredibly gracious and generous. Their love for God, each other, and their people overwhelms their home and envelopes each person who enters.

There is so much joy and peace in a country that is essentially fighting for its existence every day. It was wonderful to share the lighting of the Hanukkah candle and Shabbat with this family and their guests. I will never forget how I felt just being there with them.

Pictured: At the Clamen home in the Old City.