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Friday, January 9, 2009

Jerusalem

Susan, Beth, Gina, Micky, Robert, Frank, Me, Angie, and Oliver

Frank and me in front of the Dome of the Rock
The Rock of the Dome
The street where Jesus carried his cross
The day had finally come for us to go to Jerusalem. I was so excited and nervous at the same time. Just the night before we had gotten notice from the State Department to be careful where we traveled. Frank and I went back and forth whether we should go or not, but after speaking with some friends who live in Israel they assured us it would be OK as long as we had a guide. Before we had arrived in Israel, we hired a guide to see Jerusalem along with some of Frank's work colleagues. I have to say the day did not start off well. First, our taxi that would transport us the hour drive northeast to Jerusalem was late. On top of that, it was raining and cold. Thankfully, I had a coat and a really warm wool sweater, but was missing an umbrella. We made it to Jerusalem and began our tour outside the Old City walls. What was great about our guide Nir was that he was in the process of getting his masters in Archeology. When you enter the gates to the Old City you are suppose to enter with your right foot, so we did. First he took us to the Abbey were the Last Supper was suppose to have occurred. Then he walked us along the Cardom Road and showed us the original roads from Jesus times, and from there to the Western Wall of the Temple. Also know as the Wailing Wall. Here you will see not only Jewish people praying, but people of many denominations. Due to Jewish customs men and women are separated, and as you leave the wall you are suppose to walk backwards. I forgot to ask our guide why. Then we walked up to the Dome of the Rock. It is beautiful. The Dome of the Rock is owned by the Muslims and is suppose to be the sight where Mohamed was taken to God. Since 2000 only Muslims can go inside. The Dome of the Rock is holy not only to Muslims, but to Jews and Christians because it sits on top of the Temple Mount. This location gives you a perfect few of the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane. Lunch time we stopped and ate at a little cafe that served humus, kabobs, pita bread, falafel, french fries etc. We were all hungry and cold. By this point my feet were soaked, but I wasn't going to let it stop me. Then we went to the Via Dolorosa and walk the last steps of Jesus. Today the street is lined with cheap trinkets. If you want to feel the spirit you really have to focus. Seeing other congregations sing and holding the cross is not an uncommon site. Jesus journey ends at Calvary or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This is the only trip were I really didn't prepare myself for because I felt I knew the city through the bible. I wish that I had done some reading because I was really disappointed to find a church sitting on top of the place where Jesus was crucified. It is not clear though that this is the actual site. There is some school of thought that believes that Jesus Crucifixion occurred outside the city walls in what today is a Muslim neighborhood. I wish we could have gone to that site, but with the war going on our tour guide did not feel comfortable taking us there. There is so much to see in Jerusalem that we really needed more than a day. I wish we would have had time to go to the Holocaust Museum or walk more freely around the city without any agenda. I guess this means we will just have to plan on going back.

1 comment:

wild child said...

Hi There!

I was so delighted to receive your sweet comments on my blog - thank you so much! Welcome to my blog - I'm so happy you enjoy it :) I looked for an e-mail for you but couldn't find one - I hope you will see this message.

I wanted to read your blogs before I wrote back, so I could become familiar with you. I love them! I can't believe all you've gone through with your precious Roman - wow. And of course I have a soft spot for moms of 3 boys :)

But it was your trip to Israel that blew me away. I have been to almost all of those very same places, many years ago as a study abroad student for 6 months. So it brought back amazing memories :)

Thanks again and I hope you will visit frequently!

Megan :)