Now and then I get requests for guest posts on my blog. To date, I have never allowed them. However this time, I am prepared to make an exception for my Dearest Darling Spouse, who asked if he could add to the Back-Dated Travelogue on our Israel trip:
I think Dr. Dino’s travelogue posts provided a nice overview of our trip, some of the marvelous sights we saw and things we experienced. I’d like to thank her for the opportunity to add some of my observations.
Several people both before and after our trip asked us if we had concerns for our personal safety. Beforehand, we responded that we felt confident the tour operator would do whatever was required to assure our safety. Upon our return, we can confirm that we did indeed feel completely safe at all times throughout our stay, which included walking around on our own and taking public transportation. In fact, the cold, blustery, rainy weather had a greater impact on our itinerary (via the washed-out road to Masada) than anything related to security. Bottom line: we were never in any danger.
The most compelling parts of the trip for me were the visits to Yad Vashem, and the military cemetery at Mt. Herzl. The impact of walking in the darkness of the Children’s Memorial is indescribable. The sight of Mike Levin’s grave, and my sister’s reaction to finding the grave of the child of friends of hers, had a very deep impact on me that will never be forgotten.
The real highlights for me, though, were the things that were unplanned and unexpected, like discovering that our guide at the Western Wall tunnels and I had been at the University of Delaware together in the 1970s, and sharing our study session at the Jordan river with two bored IDF soldiers.
I too hope to return someday, if that is G-d’s will. Though in the meantime I agree with Dr. D that there is nothing better than Shabbat in Jerusalem.