By Ben Vimont
Picture it. You’re standing on top of a massive mountain. You can overlook and see the border between Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. You can hear faint noises in the distance, gun fire and bombs. You’re standing on international tectonic plates of conflict. It’s the third day of your ten day Taglit Birthright journey. Every minute, every step I took, I still couldn’t process the fact I was actually in Israel. I was in Tel Aviv, riding along the Syrian border in jeeps. Every minute felt like a dream.
The experience I had with Birthright was something I’ll never be able to experience again. The people I met, the bonds made, each day was a new adventure. I enjoyed every minute, and if I had the opportunity to do it all over again I wouldn’t change a single thing. With regards to “my moment” I continue to reflect and look back on my visit to the Golan Heights. Being able to look out over Israeli, Syrian, and Lebanon border. It was an experience like no other. We were standing just miles from an international genocide that has divided this region for worst. I could hear faint gun shots and bombs going off in the distance. Something I would usually hear about on CNN or read in the New York Times the next morning, right in front of me.
The staff were absolutely amazing. Our tour guide Lital as well as both Rabbi Lyle and Morgan led a phenomenal trip. They kept us focused and engaged with the variety of different activities we did as a group every day. Throughout the entire trip one of my favorite sights in Israel was climbing Masada and swimming in the Dead Sea. I spent what felt close to two hours climbing up and down Masada, but it was the best experience I’ve ever had. If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t change a single thing.