Sunday, March 16, 2008

Israel Day 5 Part 1

Our last day in Israel just happened to fall on the Jewish Sabbath. On the sabbath, Orthodox Jews can not do any style of work. So our usually wonderful continental breakfast was reduced to only foods that could be cooked the day before. And apparently the orange juice machine wasn't allowed to work either, and I really missed the fresh squeezed orang juice. I was also sad that I couldn't get the wonderful quiche that I had fallen in love with (I know that sounds weird. Breakfast quiche? But I can't express how awesome it was). Also they had ont elevator set aside for the Sabbath, where the buttons couldn't be pressed. It would just stop at every single floor (all 30 of them) to let the practicing Orthodox jews use the elevator without having to press buttons. It was so interesting to see the differences in culture.

My mother, some of her coworkers, and myself had scheduled a tour of Old Jerusalem (inside the walls) and a few other sites. Our tour guide was named Jacob, and he was was wonderful and such a card. He told us he wasn't religious AT ALL, but everything an ortodox Jew would walk by, he would throw on this yamica he had in his pocket, and would start yelling out blessings & praises in Hebrew. He also called us collectively Jacob's people. So throughout the day he would call out, "gather round Jacob's people!"
Our first stop was the Garden of Gethsemane outside the walls of Jerusalem. The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus went to pray with his disciples and where he was arrested. I think the Garden of  Gethsemane was one of the locations of my trip that touched me the most. It was so calm, beautiful, and serene, and I could just envision Jesus praying to God there. The olive trees were dated more than 2,000 years old and were in the garden during that time period.

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