Thursday, January 12, 2012

Joseph Sathe

Today was our last day in Jerusalem. In the morning we visited the Israeli Government Hub which was actually only about half a mile from our hostel. While there we first learned about, and walked through, the Supreme Court building. The architectural style of the building was meant to be representative of a crossroads where communication can be established and where everyone is equal under the law. The layers of symbolism were so multifaceted that to attempt to explain them all without a totally comprehensive understanding of the history of Israel would prove to be a fruitless endeavor so I will just say that the Supreme Court building is a very memorable and interesting structure. We also visited a bird sanctuary that is in the Government Hub. Israel is on the migration path of many birds and can be host to more than half a billion at a time during heavy migration season. We were unable to visit the Kneset, the Israeli Parliament, but were able to see the outside of the building which is fashioned in an ancient Greek style to symbolize the influence that Greek culture has had on Democracy and modern government.
We then left Jerusalem on our new, much bigger bus. On the way we learned about the war in 1948, known in Israel as the War of Independence. We made three stops along the way at places that were significant in 1948. The first was a hill from which could be seen what was going on for miles around and allowed whomever was in control of this hill to see what the other side was doing. The second was a memorial for the fallen Israeli soldiers who lost their lives attempting to liberate the road to Jerusalem when the city was under siege. The third was from a viewpoint where we could see the major strategic points from the war. At this point we had left the “mountains” that Jerusalem is in and were now in the “lowlands” which is much flatter we could see everything around us.
We then drove to Tel Aviv and visited the Museum on the University of Tel Aviv’s campus. This museum focused on representing Judaism in the period after the Jewish people were exiled from what is today Israel until the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.
We are now staying in the Tel Aviv Guest House. Although this is our fifth day here we have already learned so much. It will be very interesting to see what is in store for us in the remainder of the trip.

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