April 2017

By Jenna Roth

Our session with Aviv Washavsky on the Mt. Scopus overlook was chilling and transformative. After a full day of learning and reflecting on Har Herzl we returned to our campus at Hebrew University. Although the landscape of Jerusalem that can be viewed from our campus is a sight that we have all seen, it was as if we were seeing it for the first time. In a way, we were. Our session with Aviv Washavsky inspired us to look at the opportunity to be studying in Jerusalem in a different light. As we all looked into the distance of the panoramic Jerusalem view we discussed what it meant to live here in Jerusalem. We need to remember that the opportunity to live in Jerusalem did not come easy and we remember this through the history of our people. We, as Jews, are part of a higher vision. A higher entity. This is something that we share as a peoplehood and can not take lightly. As Nachson Project Fellows, we are all different, with different backgrounds, and practices. Yet, the one common denominator that we share is a mutual love for Israel and are all part of this higher entity of the Jewish people. Aviv explained to us that although we may not be physically fighting as soldiers we have a different role which includes being the spokesman soldiers for Israel which is just as important. Israel is no longer a dream but a physical land and we have a responsibility to safeguard it through being a soldier of spokesman. 

In Judaism, so much of our history defines our future. Aviv’s session emphasized that we are part of Jewish history and can impact the future- but only if we let it. If we take our time here seriously we will be the next leaders. I believe that we have a responsibility and obligation to do so. At the conclusion of our session we sang the Haitkvah. Although I have sung the Hatikvah thousands of times in my life I felt as though this time was different. I was not just singing along but rather fixated on each word that was sung with a sense of determination. Continue reading