Thirteen things about Eaton
Thirteen things I saw, did and did not do in Israel...
1...Listened to passionate applause as our plane landed at Ben Gurion airport. Jewish people love coming home and touch down on Israeli soil is plenty of reason for celebration. They actually clap on landing as the plane taxis towards the terminal.
2...Stayed with Israeli friends outside of Tel Aviv. It was rosh hashannah (Jewish New Year) and we were invited to their New Year celebrations and stayed until yom kippur, the Day of Atonement. The most Holy day in the Jewish Year. Traditional foods, and religious celebrations were fascinating and I will always consider it an honor that those people welcomed us into their home. I also got to go to Synagogue with them, men downstairs and women upstairs, no modern thinking or reform there.
3...Traveled all over the upper half of the country, Golan Heights, Druz villages, Gadolt, Banyas and Bethlehem on the internal bus system. That was a treat! I actually got to feel the barrel of an MK16 (big, big, big gun) resting between my shoulder blades while waiting to get off a bus. The Nationals like to get up real close and personal in public places.
4...Swam in the Mediterranean sea, and strolled along the shore of Tel Aviv's beach in the moonlight. The moon was so orange it was almost red.
5...Visited the historical Jaffa Port, (what is not historical in Israel?) in Tel Aviv and watched the waves roll in and out. I felt so connected with the sea, I could have sworn I felt the ebb and flow of the tide moving inside me...darn, I did feel it!!!
6...Traveled to Jerusalem and slept at the Back Packers hostel. No fancy frills there at all, bit like a cell in a Monastery. Really cheap accommodation and wonderful breakfasts.
7...Took a taxi to Calvary/Golgotha! It really looks like a skull, but there is still plenty of conjecture as to whether that is the place of the Crucifixion. But it is an awesome sight, barren, white and chalky to look at. There is a Palestinian bus depot right and the base of it. Very unusual feeling to be right at that spot while standing at a buss depot.
8...The Garden Tomb, where Jesus was considered to be buried, conjecture about that too. A quiet, empty place and I mean empty.
9...The Garden of Gethsemane, where the Bible says Jesus asked God to "take this cup from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done". The oldest Olive Tree in Israel lives there, the roots have been in the ground 2000 years, give or take a few.
10..The Old City, is like stepping back into Biblical times. This city is around 400 odd years old, it has been destroyed by invading conquerors many times.
11..Walked along the Via Delarosa, the Stations of the Cross. Visited King David's Citadel and shopped in the Arab Quarter for souvenirs. We also walked around the outside of the Old City past Absalom's Tomb, King David's son.
12..Walked on the Temple Mount and that moved me, because folks, it aint over yet. And you can take your own interpretation on that one.
13..But the place that was in my heart to visit for 15 years was The Wall, (ha kotel), the Wailing wall. The first time I saw it (my sweet husband kept it a surprise, he knew where he was going) I thought we were just strolling to another part of the old city. We turned a corner and came up to a waist high wall, as I stepped up to it my breath caught in my throat and my heart almost stopped. I have never been taken by surprise like that ever.
Nothing compares to that, well maybe giving birth, that kinda takes your breath away too!! I wore a head covering to approach the wall, laid my hands on the wall and wrote a prayer in my stilted Hebrew and placed it in a crack in the wall. I won't ever forget, the picture in my mind is as clear today as when I experienced it.
I did not get to visit Masada, En Gedi, Eilat or the Dead Sea and I had really hoped to visit those places, twice I missed out. The last time because I caught some stomach bug and was throwing up in my room in Jerusalem. YUK!
one extra cos I couldn't leave this out...
14...I almost forgot Capernaum on the Sea if Galilee, (yam kinneret). I stepped on a black basalt step that Jesus would have stepped on, to enter a church and a few steps away from there, stood looking down into the remains of the very first Christian church...Peter the Apostle, his mother-in-law's home.
Happy TT! :)
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