Last Stop: Tel Aviv

After leaving Jerusalem, we began today at the Ayalon Institute near Rehovot. There, right under the nose of the British, an ammunition factory was created for the production of 9mm bullets for the Sten submachine gun, disguised as part of a Kibbutz. Forty-five courageous young men and women operated the underground site under complete secrecy (disguised by a delicious-smelling bakery and a noisy laundry) from 1945 until 1948, producing more than 5 million bullets vital to the defeat of the British during the War of Independence. Amazing!

With our group at last back to full numbers, we embarked on a walking tour of Yafo, starting along the harbor in the magical port city.

The views of the Mediterranean and Tel Aviv were breathtaking, and Eitan shared some of the city’s history with us. Tel Aviv, we learned, was intended to blend old and new; Aviv is Hebrew for “spring,” symbolizing renewal, and Tel is a mound of layers of civilization, symbolizing the ancient. We also heard the story of a rocky outcropping in the Yafo port associated with the place of Andromeda’s chaining and rescue by Perseus in Greek mythology.

In the afternoon, we enjoyed lunch and bargaining for deals in the treasure trove at the Shuk Hapishpeshim before it was on to the beach for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea … the perfect way to end a Tel Aviv day.

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