Alumni Alumni Volunteer Trip: Hila’s Reflection

By Young Judaea

By Hila Beckerman, Participant on YJ Alum Volunteer Trip in Israel, January 2024

“So…how was it????” they ask with a smile on their face In anticipation of fun stories from the Holy Land place, The place where religions and cultures all melt, The place where the bible landed its belt.

The place where the people want peace which won’t come, Where humans are walking around like they’re numb, Still in disbelief, horror, in shock and in pain, From a dream exploded in torrential rain.

Coming into reality no one wanted to face, Where a music festival turned into a race, For survival, for escape, for a flight from the hell That Noam, the survivor, will tell of his tale Of sheer luck, sheer fate, and the guilt of survival, The trauma on his face, his sign of arrival.

“How was it!?” I’ll reply, holding back tears It was an awfully painful realization of fears. The world marches on, people laugh, and they quip But my mind is in Israel on the Young Judaea trip. My body is home trying to get back to tomorrow, But my mind is a sad heavy sponge full of sorrow.

For the world that didn’t have to suffer this way, For Gili’s parents who sit and watch the sunset each day, Without their beautiful girl with a smile you can’t miss For all the families whose loved ones they’ll no longer kiss.

Yet despite all the sadness, anger, and hate, We also bore witness to a power so great, So unexpected, so strong, that it left me in awe – The power of people that even so raw, So damaged, so hurt, each stepped in where they could Because staying at home was not something they would Do at a time when their people were hurting, Hotels full of families relocated, diverting, Shouting at protests, demanding a change, Coming up with solutions for problems that range From toys for the children displaced from their homes To food for the soldiers, shaving kits, and combs.

One little country, a home for the Jews Saved from the slaughter by the kindness of Druze. Working together, heroes arose All fighting, united, against common foes.

And that is the light at the end of their tunnel The light that will focus us all like a funnel, Concentrating the power the people possess The love and the beauty of a land which is blessed. They – from within, and us from a distance, Endlessly, lovingly offer assistance, No task is too great, no objective too tall To help our dear country up when it falls. There is no doubt we will all dance again, In peace and in safety, we’ll all sing Amen.

For more participant reflections click here

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