Friday, July 17, 2009

We enjoyed our last Friday in Jerusalem, doing a great deal of walking to catch some things we'd missed over the past couple months. We began with the Ramparts Walk, a hike atop the walls of the Old City. The views were extraordinary, and it was an amazing feeling to be strolling atop these five hundred year old fortifications.

We descended at the Zion Gate, ate lunch in the Jewish Quarter, and then toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is a huge Byzantine structure, dark and solemn, with magnificent mosaics. The space is divided between the Roman Catholics, Copts, Russian and Greek Orthodox, who have lived in uneasy harmony here for centuries (nice to see the Christians are as divided as we are!) I have always loved spending time in churches. The smell of the incense, the towering architecture, the deep silences offer a kind of meditative experience that is quite different from our Jewish spirituality and, for me, complementary.

Last but not least, we walked down the Via Dolorosa, following the stations of the cross, then out the Lion's gate to East Jerusalem, where we caught at cab to the top of the Mount of Olives--the world's most prestigious Jewish cemetery. Our goal was to find a camel ride for Rachel and Jonah--and we succeeded, to the joy of everyone!

I'm attaching a link below for pictures--a great slice of Jerusalem life:.

Shabbat shalom to all

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