א׳ באייר ה׳תשע״ז (April 27, 2017) The Pioneering Spirit

Even more fun than Passover break was reuniting with my TRY family afterwards. Returning to the group after not seeing everyone for a week made me realize how important this community is to me. I truly missed these incredible people, and it amazes me that we are capable of bringing about such powerful and deep-rooted connections with individuals that we did not even know existed as of three months ago.

 
We all met up in beautiful gardens in Zichron Ya’akov and learned about the First Aliyah, the initial mass movement of Jews from Eastern Europe and Yemen to the Land of Israel from 1881 to 1903. It was such a beautiful day, and there could not have been a better, sweeter, more joyful environment to reunite with my friends. We then traveled to Haifa to see the beautiful BaHá’í gardens, and from there we made our way to Kibbutz Degania Bet. The Second Aliyah occurred in 1904-1914, around the time Degania was established, and unlike the First Aliyah the immigrants had both the ideology and the resources to succeed. It was inspiring to hear about the brave (and surprisingly young) Zionists who took a huge risk by coming to the completely unfamiliar, foreign land that they dreamed could one day be the Jewish state of Israel.

 

This tiyul really opened my eyes to the hardships that these young Zionists must have encountered on their journeys. They did not only establish Israel, but they actually managed to thrive here. These people were willing to do whatever it took to achieve the free Jewish state of their dreams. We, as the people of the Jewish future, must feel incredibly grateful and blessed that we now have the privilege to live here-if even only for four months. There was so much work that went into making this beautiful country, and it is important to wake up every morning and simply breath in the Jerusalem air. While we are here, and even when we are not, we must never stop believing in the holiness of Israel and those audacious olim who traveled here to create the amazing place in which we are blessed to live today.
 
LUCY COSGROVE
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