Illini Chabad ASB Berlin 2014 -
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What an amazing first day! Gathering in the airport in Chicago with an Am Yisroel Chai to Copenhagen to Berlin. Seeing the sheer amount of history that is so present in the streets of Berlin is super moving to myself as an American Jew living today in the United States. Driving by the Holocaust memorial in the center of Berlin, and standing in the square where the Nazi armies marched after each victory, made me think how special it is that I can be standing here today. Imagine a Jew standing and watching thousands of Nazi soldiers proudly parade after a victory. What would this Jewish person think? When watching such a display of power of pure evil, how can a person remain optimistic in this world? Then I snapped a picture of myself in front the the Brandenburg Gate and thought to my self, "After all is said and done, who is coming and snapping a picture of this place in history?"

To experience, firsthand, the story of the Berlin wall and to see the dedication an sacrifice people made in order to bring liberty and freedom to people reminds me of what is my responsibility as a Jewish person living in freedom today. Seeing a picture, and standing in the place, where 500,000 people stood and protested their oppression and demanded liberty, I learned how important it is for each and every one of us to make our voices heard and to care about injustice and oppression happening today.

Before I fall asleep from exhaustion of an amazing 24 hours, I want to express how moved I am by today's experiences, but the words I come up with fail to do justice. Perhaps when I am more rested or when this experience has a chance to sink in I will be able to put my thoughts in better order and write more eloquently so you will be able to share in my experience, but until then I can only say wow. If the next six days of this trip are going to make such an impression as this first, I am going to be a changed person when I land back in Chicago. 

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