Blogs from Israel, Middle East - page 144


Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 9th 2005

From my journal: My heart started pounding when I first saw it. I could hardly believe it. I stood back for awhile, trying to imagine Your House on top of that retaining wall instead of that ugly golden pimple. I was very aware of the fact that YOU had brought me there. Literally, through this whole trip, it seems like You cleared the pth, like You're taking me by th hand and saying, "Come on, I want to show you everything." And then, You brought me to that last remaining wall, washed smooth by so many tears. Stepping close to the wall, gingerly reaching out to touch it, then moving my body closer to it with an almost passionate familiarity, rubbing the stones with my fingers like I would Sonny's hand, I felt as if I ... read more
All lit up
Prayers in the wall
Prayers in the wall

Middle East » Israel » Haifa District » Haifa December 8th 2005

Midterms thankfully ended on Wednesday November 23, and also thankfully, I got through them with more or less enough sleep and not too much stress. I woke up early on Thursday and quickly filled my birthday with a lot of activity. The morning was dedicated to administration--the post office, bank, and library. That evening, the overseas department put together an international Thanksgiving dinner for all of the overseas students. They served turkey right along side middle eastern salads. Ilana, another Carmellie, stood up and said she was thankful that I had been born and requested that everybody sing. It was a bit silly, but also really nice. Afterwards, I went out with some friends for the best ice cream in Haifa to celebrate. The next morning I left Haifa for Kibbutz Nativ HaLamedHey, which is close ... read more
Birthday Ice cream
EIE Get-Together
EIE Get-Together

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv December 7th 2005

In Israel, it always seems everything is touched in some way by the underlying history and politics of the area. From the little exhibits in Jaffa of the spot where they brought the cedar trees for the temple of Solomon or where Noah's son settled after the flood or where Napolean's troops laid siege to the memorial for the 20+ youth killed in the disco bombing in Tel Aviv to the questions about why no English guidebooks have been updated on Israel since 2000 or why no credit card company will insure rental cars here, everything seems to have historical or political overtones. We are staying with our friends Dov and Shoshi in their quiet neighborhood near the sleek new Ben Gurion Airport. If we keep them talking long enough, we learn a lot, as ... read more
Sort of Historical Spot
Spanish League Football
Unnecessary Art

Middle East » Israel December 2nd 2005

We drove southward, into the Negev. There were absolutely spectacular views! Especially driving down into the great crater. And even though this particular portion of the desert was probably not the one where the nation of Israel wandered after the exodus, it really fed my imagination. The land is very harsh (thinking that the shoes on their feet never wore out is seriously supernatural!), but I think I wouldn't have minded being a kid during the desert wandering. Steve only let us explore for about fifteen minutes, but I would have loved to walk all over. ... read more
The great crater
A few feet off the side of the road
The bottom of the crater

Middle East » Israel » South District » Arad December 2nd 2005

Tel Arad was absolutely huge! Spread out over a whole bunch of acres. After we explored it for a few hours, we moved on. That night, checked into a hotel in modern day Arad, a beautiful town that seems to appear out of nowhere when you are driving through the desert.... read more
The Desert Blooms


Middle East » Israel December 2nd 2005

We drove towards the Dead Sea and drove along it's coast for several miles before reaching the desert fortress of Masada. I would have loved to climb up the snake path but with a group our size, it would have taken us all day, so we all climbed into a cable car instead. The top of Masada is huge! We spent several hours up there and only saw part of the nothern half! The history of Masada covers two distinctly different periods. Herod build a tiered palace on the northern side. The nature-defying contained all the comforts of civilized western culture, including a roman bath! How he got the water up there is mind-blowing. Seventy years later, during the Jewish uprising and the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, Masada was transformed into a desert fortress by ... read more
View From Below
Riding the Cable Car
A Jews hold Masada once again

Middle East » Israel December 2nd 2005

Comments from the crowd: Julianna - I had water in my eyes! Out of all the experiences we had in Israel, I would have to say that swimming in the Dead Sea was...the most distateful one. When we go back next time, I don't think I would want to swim in it again. Pat was the only smart one of all of us. She stood on the shore and hovered over our stuff while we stepped into the salty waters. Ok, first off, Steve told us to be careful not to get water in our eyes, but I didn't really take him seriously. I thought it was like a regular ocean. If you get typical salt water in your eyes, it stings, but you just blink a couple of times and it's all better. I got ... read more

Middle East » Israel » South District » Ein Gedi December 2nd 2005

Since we arrived too late on Friday afternoon, the actual Ein Gedi spring was already closed for Shabbat. We looked at it from a nearby hill, though. We didn't have long because a freakish wind storm blew in and we had to grope our way back to the bus. ... read more
Let's climb it!!!

Middle East » Israel December 2nd 2005

Our last stop for the day was the ancient desert community of Qumran which was inhabited by the Essense during the first century. The Dead Sea Scrolls were copied here and stored in a series of caves which were discovered on the eve of the establishment of the State of Israel. Our first day in Israel, spent touring in the Negev, was over and it was time to make our way to the next area. As Jeremy put it, we went from the Dead Sea - the place on earth - to the highest place on earh: Jerusalem. ... read more
Cave 3

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Tel Aviv December 1st 2005

On the plane on the way from Holland to Israel, I thought about what it was that I wanted to accomplish on this trip. Getting to Israel in the first place seemed like such a miracle. I didn't want to have the whole trip pass as just a tourist venture. What would I do when I walked off the plane, onto Israeli soil? What would I think, what would I feel? I wrote in my journal: I want to hurt. I want to be sad because I can't be in the land, and when I finally put my foot on it, I want to feel as if I've truely come home. Not because the people there accept me, because, quite possibly, they won't. But I want to know that I've come home because this is the ... read more
Mom and Julianna
Great picture!!
Catching a nap

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