December 6, 2012
Our day started at 7:30 heading to the Knesset. After passing through security, we met our guide and began our personalized tour. We were introduced to the leadership of Israel and learned about all the symbolism on the Chagall tapestries that adorn one of the walls. There are also mosaics done by Chagall throughout the large room in which we learned about the Knesset. Then it was time to go into the room where Knesset holds its sessions (they were not working today). You can see that the shape of the tables/chairs is like a menorah. The president of Israel has a seat of honor off to the right since he is not an active participant in the proceedings of Parliament.
From the Knesset we went to the Israel Museum, where the Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. We took time to view all the artifacts and pieces of scrolls that fill the museum.
From there we went to the Supreme Court of Israel and learned about the judicial system. Israel has a very transparent approach to its government, and we were able to sit in on one of the court cases for a few minutes. We toured the rest of the court complex, which is beautiful in its use of all the natural lighting available as well as its way of bringing the outdoors into the building.
Then it was back to the Israel Museum for lunch and some time to view the archaeological, Judaica, and art exhibits.
From the Museum we headed to Mt. Herzl where we learned about the man who said, “If you will it, it is no dream.” The interactive presentation really brought Herzl’s story to life.
From Mt. Herzl we made our way to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. We walked through the museum on our own until way after dark.
Coming back to the hotel, we each went on our own for dinner and the rest of the evening (although many of us are beyond exhausted from the fast pace of our days). Tomorrow, Israel’s Old City and Shabbat in Jerusalem.