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Traveling to THE HALL OF NAMES

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By Sandra Elzie

The last two weeks in Israel have been fun.  There is a lot more to see there than people imagine.  We’ve visited Petra the then The Dead Sea and Masada and it’s almost time to head home.  Time has flown.  In our case, however, things didn’t “fly” well at the end of our two-week visit to the Holy Land.

By now we’re tired and looking forward to going home.  Please know that this is no reflection on the country we were visiting.  We’d seen Jerusalem, the Dome of the Rock and the Wailing Wall.  We’d shopped in all the small vendor shops until we thought we’d drop, strolled through museums galore and visited the Garden of Gethsemane.  We’d seen the area where it’s believed Jesus was born, Golgotha where Jesus was crucified and even had communion in the garden where Jesus was put in the tomb after His death.  We had ridden in a fishing-sized boat on the Sea of Galilee and some of our group had been baptized in the Jordan River…as the Bible tells us that John baptized Jesus…and even ridden to the top of a mountain in Megiddo and looked out over the valley where the Battle of Armageddon will take place as prophesied in the book of Revelation.  We had enjoyed every single day of the two weeks, but we were ready to go home.

Then the night before our flight, we’re told that we don’t have to set our alarm clocks for 4:00 am since there is an air-traffic-controller’s strike and we’re stuck in Tel Aviv until it ends.  Ugh. But we accepted our fate with tired smiles and our tour company was fantastic.  They got us very nice accommodations and promised us flight arrangements home just as quickly as possible.  Then they arranged for us to visit one last place…one I’m so thankful we didn’t miss…The Holocaust Museum.

The museum complex includes The Holocaust History Museum, The Holocaust Art Museum, The Exhibitions Pavilion, Hall of Remembrance, Pillar of Heroism (commemorating Jewish resistance during the Holocaust), a Children’s Memorial, The Cattle Car Memorial to the deportees, the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations, and much, much more. But it’s The Hall of Names that will forever reside in my heart and what I’m focusing on today.

The Hall of Names is where individual Jews who perished in the Holocaust are commemorated on Pages of Testimony submitted by survivors, relatives or friends.  Pages of Testimony contain the names, biographical details and…when available…photographs of the victims.  There are currently over two million Pages of Testimony and the number continues to grow as later generations submit their ancestors.  These photos and the written words of the victims give the long-since dead a personal identity.  Each of the men, women and children were tattooed with an identification number by the Nazis, but this exhibit makes them an individual personality, not just one of the over 6 million who perished at the hand of the Nazis and those who helped the Nazis.  These photos put names and faces to the victims, making you remember they were once living, loving and laughing humans who had dreams and goals just as we do today. http://db.yadvashem.org/names/search.html?language=en

The Hall of Names is housed within the Holocaust Museum and is two huge opposing cone-shaped structures.  The top cone portion is approximately 32 feet high and displays 600 photos of victims and fragments of testimony.  These portraits are reflected in water (representing the tears of the victims) at the bottom of the opposing cone.   http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/museum/

Our guide told us that there are factions today who claim the holocaust never happened, but when Allied Forces defeated Hitler and the emaciated victims in the concentration camps were rescued and the mass graves were uncovered, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 5-star General in the U.S. Army and later the 34th president, ordered lots of pictures to be taken to fully document the atrocities.  He wanted the world to know what had been done to this race of people and also he felt the documentation was needed to prevent anyone in the future from saying it never happened.

After leaving the exhibit, we spent the remainder of our visit to Israel in the luxury of our hotel, poolside, and since the Controller’s strike ended quickly, we were soon on a Delta flight straight through to Atlanta.  We were tired, but the trip was one of the best we’ve ever been on and I’d go back in a heartbeat.  Till next time, Shalom, my friends.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sandra Elzie writes contemporary romance and lives with her husband  in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  Oh, and we can’t forget the owner of Sandy’s house, Jack, the resident feline.  You can read more about her on her website...www.SandraElzie.com    Her books are available on Amazon.

Sandra also writes as Sandra McGregor.  www.SandraMcGregor.com  Her books are available on Amazon.

Mary Preston - February 28, 2014 - 2:51 am

I got chills just reading the post. I know I would be deeply moved. My Mother told me that when the newspapers started to report the atrocities it was so incredibly hard to believe. So hard to comprehend that humans could do this to each other.

Marilyn Baron - February 28, 2014 - 5:31 am

I have been to the Holocaust Museum and it is a very moving experience. Your post really did it justice. I have enjoyed seeing Israel through your eyes.

Pam Asberry - February 28, 2014 - 9:00 am

I have had some of my greatest experiences when things didn’t go according to plan. I’m glad this situation turned out to be that way for you, Sandy. Thank you for sharing!

Maxine - February 28, 2014 - 9:55 am

Sandy, You trip has been a wonderful experience for ME. I’ve enjoyed it so much through your eyes and writing. I would love to visit there and see these sites. Thank you.

Connie Gillam - February 28, 2014 - 10:01 am

Sandy-

Your posts make me want to visit the Holy Land. Its been a very moving account of your trip. Thank you.

Carol Burnside / Annie Rayburn - February 28, 2014 - 12:43 pm

Great post, Sandy. I could feel the impact it had on you in your writing.

Walt Mussell - February 28, 2014 - 1:01 pm

Sandy,

I hope to visit the Holy Land someday. It’s wonderful that you got the opportunity to go.

Sandy Elzie - March 4, 2014 - 2:01 pm

Mary,
I heard some of the same stories from my older family. Horrible, unhuman things done to people who were innocent of everything except being Jewish.

Sandy Elzie - March 4, 2014 - 2:02 pm

Marilyn and Maxine,
Thanks so much for the kind words…I’m glad you could “see” Israel through my eyes.

Sandy Elzie - March 4, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Hi Pam,
Sometimes it’s those little detours in life that allow us to see something we’re so very glad we didn’t miss…and this was one of them for me. Thanks for commenting.

Sandy Elzie - March 4, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Connie and Walt,
Sure hope you both get a chance to visit Israel some day. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

Sandy Elzie - March 4, 2014 - 2:05 pm

Hi Carol,
Yes, Israel was a trip to remember…and I really enjoyed sharing it with everyone.

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