Friday, May 6, 2011

Hi there blog followers. Rosh Chodesh Sameach!

Today is the first day (alef) of the Hebrew month of Eyar (אייר). This is the day on which King Solomon began to build the first temple, and on which the prophet Ezra, hundreds of years later, began to rebuild the temple. The month of Iyar is commonly associated with healing, which seems fitting after the Holocaust Memorial Day this week and the Day of Remembrance for fallen soldiers in the middle of next week.
On Monday morning of this week at 10am a siren could be heard all over Israel, calling people to remember the Shoah (Holocaust). For 2 minutes everyone stood silent, where they were, on the pavements, in the shops, etc. Even the buses and the traffic stopped out of respect for those who lost their lives such a barbaric way, and for those who until this day are suffering from the effects of what they saw and experienced. It was a moment that I myself, along with the nation, was able to remember what members of my own family had been through during this time.
Monday of this week brings the Day of Remembrance for the fallen soldiers of all of Israel’s wars. Due to the nature of Israel’s army there are only a very few families that will not be at one of the numerous cemeteries, remembering their lost. Tuesday of this coming week, however, brings a great contrast to the sadness of the last week, as the country celebrates Yom ha Atzmaut (Independence Day). As it is a national holiday and most people are off work, the whole of Israel turns in to one big barbecue as it celebrates this historic, and prophetic moment.
Here at Ulpan Aviv, it’s been another busy week, with the vast majority of our students, studying with us for the first time. One of our students even did the intensive 10 day ‘Aviv’ course in just 5 days!!
See you here next week. Shavua tov le kulam and remember to take care when you are lighting your barbecues etc!!
Gil Pentzak
Ulpan Aviv- Director

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