Happy 60th Birthday, Israel!!!

What a privilege and honor for us to be here in Israel to celebrate along with the country the anniversary of Israel's 6oth year of Independence. I'll start with recapping from Yom Hazikaron. At around 8pm the night of Yom Hazikaron, a loud siren goes off and all are supposed to stop what they are doing and reflect on the many lives lost during war and to terrorist acts. We did not hear that siren, probably because we were busy yelling at our kids to go to sleep. The next day at 11 am David and I were at the fruit store. It took a second to realize that the sound I was hearing was indeed the siren and not an indication that we were under attack. It was amazing to see that people just stop what they are doing and stand still with head bowed. The siren lasted for a minute and you could really feel the unity of the people. It was a little disturbing to see out of the corner of your eyes the arab workers walking along as if nothing was going on. The kids all had different educational experiences at their schools. Leora was shown pictures of a relative of a boy in her class who was killed.

That evening the Yom Haatzmaut parties began. Rivka was invited to spend the night at a friends in Chashmonaim. She had an amazing time with all of her classmates from school. Zvi and I along with Jamie, Effie and Shaya Steiner (our neighbors) walked outside until we were able to see the city's fire works display. The kids really enjoyed it. We then continued walking until we got to the local religious Yom Haatzmaut celebrations. There was live music and dancing. Zvi said it was boring but I saw him mesmerized by the band. It made me think that he'd really enjoy being able to play a musical instrument (since given mine and David genes a singing career is out of the question).

Today we (Greenstone's including David's father) met up with Adina (Ethel), Eric, and their three younger kids for a horseback riding adventure. And adventure it was , for David and Rivka that is. They were the only ones brave enough from our family to ride their own horse. The younger Greenstones were not as comfortable so they got to ride on a pony with a guide. The youngest Greenstone was even too chicken for that. I myself would have loved to go horseback riding, but for some reason Rivka chose David to go with her instead of me. I wonder if it is because I am such a chicken and Rivka has no confidence in me. In keeping with the Yom Haatzmaut tradition (for non vegetarians) after the horseback riding we returned for a delicious Bar-B-Que at the Hagege's. Danny and Ornat and girls came by to say hi and then we loaded up the car and returned to Modiin. We were very happy that we didn't encounter any of the dreaded "pa-kack".

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