Yad Vashem

Day 2: Sunday 25 December 2011

 It rained all day long and was about 15 degrees and very foggy. The city was covered in a white mist. I took the tram to the Holocaust museum, it is a stunning building and everything was so well presented. It was a stunning yet very depressing experience.

Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953 through the Yad Vashem Law passed by the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.

The origin of the name is from a Biblical verse: “And to them will I give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name (Yad Vashem) that shall not be cut off”.

Located in the western region of Mount Herzl on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem on 804 meters above the sea, Yad Vashem is a 180,000 square meters complex containing the Holocaust History Museum; memorial sites, such as the Children’s Memorial and the Hall of Remembrance, The Museum of Holocaust Art, sculptures, outdoor commemorative sites such as the Valley of the Communities, a synagogue, archives and a research institute.

Yad Vashem honors non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust at personal risk, as the “Righteous among the Nations”.

Yad Vashem is the second most visited tourist site in Israel, after the Western Wall. It receives on average one million visitors annually. Admission is free.

Afterwards I went and walked through the food market close to the hostel to cheer myself up. I had a fabulous bowl of whole wheat pasta before spending the rest of the evening at the hostel reading and just relaxing with a glass of wine.