Thursday, March 12, 2009

My first Over Seas Trip : Jerusalem

14 July 1978 - Jerusalem

Today was very exciting!

We went to the old city of Jerusalem.

This was too much to absorb.

We hired a guided Limousine (taxi)  who took us around and told us all about the area. The city itself is full of churches, (Well given it's history I guess I should have expected as much but never-the-less it was a surprise to me ed.) built over all the  significant sites (supposedly) mentioned in the Bible.

We went to:

1) The western wall, the last remnant of the temple destroyed by the Romans, commonly known as the wailing wall because that is where so many Jews go to pray. This is one of the few places that doesn't have a church.

2) The church of the Nativity, where we were taken down to the grotto that we were told was the "Exact place where Jesus was born". Whilst I was very excited to see this, as the prospect of being in the very place where Jesus was born is awesome, I struggle with the idea that there is any way of knowing other than by divine revelation, that this is the "Exact" place where Jesus was born.

3) The tomb where Jesus was buried. A little disappointing really as there is no garden just multiple churches, built over what is believed to be the tomb that Jesus was berried in, after he died and before he was resurrected. Still fascinating to see all the different church services going on around you as you look. (Because none of the shots I took came out I've included a very good website about the church of the Holy Sepulcher.)

I was struck also by how small Israel was before the six day (and other) war. In some places there was only 15 miles (24 kilometers) between the coast and the border.  That's small. I've traveled that far to work.

There is a certain aura about being about the historical places here in Israel. But there was something else that struck me, especially tonight, as we went out for a walk from back at the hotel (Right). You always hear about the history of Israel. Eric and I studied the history of Israel in Bible College. But you hear little about the people of today.

Tel-aviv is alive at night. There are traffic jams at 10:00 pm and there are foods and drink people in Australia have never dreamed of. We had a square of Pizza (no Ham of course) and fruit drinks that are made from real fruit mixed with milk on the spot. (common place in Australia now days however including ham on the pizza ed.) Breakfast is always fruit. They eat and incredible amount of fruit here.


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