Yad Vashem, Israel Museum, Tzur Hadassah and Welcoming in Shabbat
by Ministry of SHOFAR on October 10th, 2013

Today was truly the most life-changing day of this journey yet! 

We started our day at Yad Vashem (The Holocaust Museum).  Words cannot express the impact this experience had on our hearts.  We were not allowed to take pictures but  what we saw and experienced will forever be branded on our hearts.  It truly shakes you deep within to see the horror that happened and can happen when little by little, mankind allows lines to be blurred, values to be altered and GOD's plumbline to be removed. 

What enters is a spirit of evil beyond comprehension that can take control and try to obliterate GOD's plans and purposes for all HIS children.  BUT GOD still has the LAST AND FINAL WORD and HE being all powerful and seeing the end from the beginning did not allow HIS people to be "wiped off the face of the earth" as was evil's plan.  GOD's Word is True and He promised Abraham that his children would be as numerous as the sand by the sea and the stars in the sky.  GOD brought survivors through the horrific Holocaust and brought life from them.  After viewing the unimaginable terror and suffering that was inflicted and experienced during the Holocaust, There was a memorial to life.  It showed survivors marrying and having children once again despite the extreme trauma they experienced.  GOD, the Giver of Life brings restoration even out of the worst of ashes.  HIS people will rise and still fulfill purpose as HE destined them to.  
Our next stop was at the Israel Museum.  This museum displays a model of the City of Jerusalem during the 2nd Temple period.
After the Israel Museum, we stopped for lunch at the museum's two eateries.  Since dairy and meat are not to be served together according to Kosher observance, one eatery was for veggie and dairy foods and the other was for meats.  The team split up to eat at the eatery of their choice and enjoyed the experience.  Below is the group that chose the eatery with meat.
Here are team members that chose the veggie/dairy route.  They enjoyed grilled cheese sandwiches and pastas.
After lunch we made the long anticipated journey to Tzur Hadassah to plant olive trees in the newly created Yuval's Park!
We were overwhelmed by the exuberant and heartfelt welcome by the community of Tzur Hadassah upon our arrival.  They ran out to the bus to meet us!
Many of the people wanted to blow Rabbi's shofar, starting with our guide, Abie's wife pictured below.
The youth were so ecstatic about our arrival.  They had worked so hard the previous two weeks to prep the park for us to come and plant the olive trees in honor of their beloved classmate and friend.
One of the young men gave Darryl a shekel as a gift from Israel.  Darryl returned the favor by giving him a quarter from America.  They both were honored by the gesture of friendship.
The mayor of Tzur Hadassah and the fellow members of the community welcomed us so warmly.
Rabbi was honored by planting the first and second tree located on either side of the entry walk into Yuval's Park.
It was such a blessing to be able to join with youth and elders of the community to plant all 70 olive trees.
Words cannot express our gratitude to be able to meet Yuval's grandfather and Aunt.  Pictured below (Left to Right): Gilad (Abie's son that first asked his father if we could plant trees in their community), Abie (our tour guide), Abie's wife who is also an Israel Tour Guide, Anita Spivie, Yuval's Aunt, Rabbi, and Yuval's grandfather.
Yuval's grandfather proudly and tearfully brought out a picture of Yuval for everyone to see after Brandy Stone-Miller asked him if he had a picture they could view.
It was so hard to leave Tzur Hadassah where our hearts have been knitted so tightly with everyone there.  We do not say "goodbye" but instead "until next time".  We eagerly look forward to coming back and visiting our beloved friends and watching the trees grow year after year.
After our amazing experience at Tzur Hadassah, we were so excited to welcome in Shabbat.  We of course couldn't resist beginning with dancing and celebration!
Today was truly incredible!  We know that GOD purposed our journey for such a time as this.  The connections we made and relationships gained were more than we could have ever imagined.  Praise be to the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for the abundant blessings he as bestowed.  We gladly and gratefully enter into HIS rest (Shabbat) and this new month (Rosh Chodesh).  We are blessed to yet still continue in this journey tomorrow.

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