'The State of Israel has been the dream of every Jew for the past 2000 years.’ – Lahav, 19

When I was in 12 grade About a year and a half ago, I had the privilege of taking part in the Journey to Poland following the holocaust. We started preparations for the journey months ahead. And yet we couldn’t be ready for what coming to us.

Then it happened, at the end of November 2018 we landed in Poland and we still didn't digest that we were there. This feeling didn’t stop there, followed us the entire and returned home with us. We were in museums, synagogues, cemeteries and extermination camps. We experienced on foot what can’t be seen in pictures in Israel.

We got to know the darkest chapter in the history of the Jewish people. Probably the darkest chapter in all of human history. There was not one of us who didn’t broke down, and though it hit each one differently, everyone felt a part of the story, the story of one people who made up from six million different stories. They say you come to Poland to see what you can't see in the pictures. But it is not the eyes that work there, that is the heart that feels what is impossible to feel in Israel..

The things I saw, the feelings I felt and the things I took away followed me back to Israel and would probably continue to accompany me wherever I go for the rest of my life.

The Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day that followed the journey took on a different meaning, I can't put my finger on it but something felt different. It was much more pinching and much colder and gloomy. I have a feeling that the upcoming Remembrance Day will be like that as well.

The journey to Poland made me understanding things about myself and learning to look at them a little differently. It helped me see what really matters about life.

At the end of the year, I am going to cut my hair short and join the ranks of the Israeli Defense Force like any other Israeli citizen. And although the law requires, I now understand that this is a privilege. The State of Israel has been the dream of every Jew for the past 2000 years. The period in Budapest made me try to understand the Jewish people longing for Zion all these years.

To march in Auschwitz and Majdanek holding the flag and  joining the IDF is the biggest victory I could ask for.

מסע לפולין (1166 of 1465)
2018-11-28 08.56.06 1

Izraeli Kulturális Intézet

Budapest, Paulay Ede u. 1, 1061 Hungary

© 2020 by The Jewish Agency for Israel