Saturday, July 10, 2010

This is the Sabbath and it is still very quiet. Adult children come home for the evening and the day.  There is a lot of family time. But on Sunday the work day begins and traffic is back to normal.  I walked around today trying to figure out the bus system while there wasn't much traffic.  You can go any where in Israel on a bus.  You just have to figure out on how to do that.  It is very difficult to find a map with bus routes.  I have figured out a few routes.  Tomorrow, I'll work harder on it.  Even though it's the Sabbath, the Old City was full of people.  I think that they were mostly Arabs. This evening I'm going to Ben Yehuda Street.  They say it comes alive when Sabbath ends.  I'll find out.  The first picture is of a Wedding Car going through the narrow streets.  Perhaps picking up the Bride for her wedding.  The second is a shop in the market section of the Old City. Want some Sheep Heads or Hooves or stomach (tripe) for supper?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Almost forgot to enter my blog.  I was busy doing all kind of things today.  I have spent a lot of time doing my Introductory to Scripture Series.  But I also went out and did something new for me. I went to the Mahane Yehuda.  It is a city block long and 2 streets wide of booths selling fruits, vegetables, meats, fish baked goods, etc.  Today is a special day since more people than usual are there because they are getting ready to celebrate Sabbath (every Friday from Sundown to Saturday at Sundown) with a special meal.  And then on Saturday, no cooking of anything, everything has to be done before Sabbath. Many take it so serious that they don't even boil water.  They use large coffee urns to keep the water hot from Friday.  It was amazing how many people were at the market and buying all fresh items.  It is dark now and very quiet in Jerusalem.  No buses run.  Hardly any traffic tonight.  Stores are closed.  They have worked out a system though.  Friday is the Islam Sabbath, Jews on Saturday, Christians on Sunday. So some places are open if needed.  There is a Church 5 minute walk away from me that has an english mass, the Pontifical Biblical Institute.  Went there this evening.  Also, the Family of the soldier that is hostage, has set up their vigil at Benjamin Netanyahu's residence. They even keep Sabbath right there.  The third picture shows the table set for them right on the sidewalk. You can also see a picture of the hostage, taken 4 years ago. The other pictures show the open air market at Mahane Yehuda.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm settling in at my apartment.  It's on a busy street but I'm in the back so I don't hear the street noise.  It's in a very nice neighborhood.  Four years ago, a young soldier was captured by Hamas.  His family has been trying to get the government to get him back.  Now there has been a 12 day march from his parent's home to the Prime Minister's Home. I didn't know what was in the gaurded area that I kept walking by.  Well I must be two blocks from the Prime Minister's home because the soldiers have tripled in number and more barriers have been put up.  Apparently the parents are going  camp out in front of the home for awhile.  Should be interesting. I know that I am close to the USA Consulate and the French Consulate on the next street.  So this must be a beter neighborhood than I thought.  I went to the Old City and the Jewish Quarter.  It's fun to sit and watch people.  There were more Bar Mitzvahs at the Wall.  Utter Chaos, but I guess they like it that way.  Had the best Falafel for lunch.  Have to remember the spot.  Went to the Holy Sepulcher for evening prayer.  It was really nice today,  not so many people there this evening.  I'm going to work on my scripture study, this evening.  In the first picture. notice the women behind the wall. They are not allowed in with men, so they stand on chairs looking over the fence.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today, I went back to Bethlehem.  I went to the Nativity Church but the crowd was so large, I went to the Catholic Church, St. Catherine.  But it was packed.  Tuesday must be the day that the tours go to Bethlehem.  So I went to the Peace Center of Bethlehem.  One of the exhibits is a collection of Crib Scenes from around the world.  All are quite unique and handmade.  Then I decided to walk up Pope Paul VI Street and try to find the Local's market.  It also was packed.  Mostly local women buying food and other stuffs.  And the men yelling their products.  It was crazy.  I loved the butcher shops, everything just hanging out in the open.  This morning and evening, I started in earnest on my Intorductory to Scripture Series. There are still a few loose ends but I made progress on the first lesson.  Tomorrow I will not have an entry because I am moving to my apartment from School.  So I will be packing and moving my stuff to 18 Aza Street in Jerusalem. And then unpacking and setting up my new quarters.  It is in a very nice neighborhood and close to the old city.  When I get situated, I'll resume the blog.

Monday, July 5, 2010

School is finished and today I just walked around. I really covered a lot of ground. I played "Palm Sunday". Took a bus to the Mount of Olives and walked to Bethpage where the Jesus' Procession started and followed it all the way through the Kidron Valley up to the Temple Mount. At the Western Wall, it must have been International Bar Mitzvah Day.  There were Hundreds and Hundreds of people there.  Processions bringing in the Young Boys for their big event.  There were White Umbrellas lining the women's side and the back so the mothers and other women relatives could still watch.  They are not allowed in the Men's section. They were throwing candy when they arrived to their site with the Torah.  Then it was all professionally videotaped with the candidate microphoned to the video camera.  The picture shows one young boy with the Torah inside a beautiful Silver Container.  What a special day for them. Then I just walked around the rest of the day. Left at 8:00 AM & came back at 7:30 PM. Hope all had a good 4th of July. We had fireworks, but we have fireworks almost everynight. The Arabs love to set them off at any celebration, weddings, birthdays, whatever. The first picture is of the inside of the Church at Bethpage and the second is the Bar Mitzvah. See the women on the other side of the fence.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'm back from Petra. What a place. It is One of the New Seven Wonders of the World. And I can see why! Petra means Rock. The City is carved into this canyon. You might remember it from the second Indiana Jones Movie. Where he rides his horse through the canyon and comes upon the Treasury. It was hidden for ceturies until discovered in the 1800's. We walked through the border and joined a tour but went out on our own after arriving at Petra and was able to walk to all the sites before it was time to get back on the bus. The border closes at 8:00 PM. So it was a very full day. On Saturday, we went snorkeling in the Red Sea. Beautiful coral reefs teeming with fish. And then we came back very tired. Rested up on the 4th of July and wrote this part of my blog.
To see the pictures, click on the picture. Then there is a cartoon bubble at the bottom left where you can see the titles, click there. Click on the triangle or the II to play. Hit F11 for full screen, arrows for forward and back. Hope you enjoy. The pictures don't do Petra credit.

Back From Petra.