Moving through history, one yom at a time

Ariela Feitelberg, BP Staff

Mati Hurwitz, Torah Editor

This year at Shalhevet, we celebrated the various yoms — the holiday days — of the Omer appropriately.

On Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, juniors and seniors broke into small tour groups at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust to learn about the various methods of capturing Jews, forcing labor upon them and a range of methods of killing and torture.

Freshmen and sophomores entered the museum immediately after the departure of the upperclassmen, following the same routine.

After revisiting this historical atrocity through technology and innumerable artifacts, Shalhevet students gathered outside and read off lists of names of child victims, then wrote their names on paper and slid them inside circular holes in the museum’s Wall of Commemoration.

On Yom Hazikaron, Israeli Memorial Day, various teachers spoke to their classes about the sacrifices thousands of soldiers have made to protect Jews and Israel, showing videos and discussing army veterans and their heroics. The entire school gathered together for a moment of silence honoring our protectors.

Shortly afterwards in the Beit Midrash, the administration informed students that some students would be randomly drug-tested. Rachel Hecht delivered a few serious words about drug testing, followed by a video on how the test would be conducted. The video was interrupted by the SAC chairs erupting exclaiming “It’s Color War!”  The drug tests never occurred nor were intended to.

That led perfectly into Yom Haatzmaut, Israeli Indepence Day, when festivities were celebrated – fittingly – with a blue vs. white color war. The blue team represented Yerushalayim while the white team modeled Tel Aviv. Students from all grades competed in songs, dances, cheer-offs, Divrei Torah contests, eating contests, fear-factor competitions, athletics, skits, and trivia, including trivia about Israel’s history. The white team skidded past the blue team in a tight race to cap off the 64th anniversary since becoming an independent state.

Yom Hazikaron is a serious day leading into a day of celebration, Yom Haatzmaut. Similarly at Shalhevet we encountered a serious moment while under the impression of an upcoming drug test which was never intended to actually happen.

Our nervousness and anxiety led to relief and an ultimately amazing joyous result, just as we experienced in 1948.  On top off the two back-to-back days revisiting of the Holocaust, should help us always appreciate our luxuries in life and be thankful that as a people we have overcome this tragedy.