Last Stop Jerusalem, On to Israel 1982
We are on the third week of our honeymoon. We crossed the Allenby bridge over the Jordan River to enter Israel. The customs was intense. They even took our shoes and magazines. They gave the shoes back, but kept the magazines. Our destination was the ancient city of Jerusalem. Israel is a country of 8,500 sq mi. The climate here is low 70’s and dry in June. Some places have air conditioning.
We found a nice hotel with a nice patio porch outside the Damascus gate. They had a nice breakfast. The food situation is still Middle Eastern, but with a twist. Many restaurants are small, privately held with three or four tables only. We are staying near the Arab quarter.
I will relate two coincidences. We met a man, who had a nephew who owned the Falafel House a restaurant in Clifton in Cincinnati. I met this man and talked to him before our trip. We also met an Armenian at a souvenir shop in the old city. He told us his name Karagesian meant black eyebrows. Bedukian a famous flavor chemist is also Armenian.
We know some Karagesians, he said they were related. The old city is divided into four quarters Armenian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim. The language of Israel is Ivrit or modern Hebrew. Arabic and English are also widely spoken. Known as Palestine it was a British mandate and before that part of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. Sacked by Roman general, later emperor, Titus in 70 ad, destroying the second temple. Site of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. On medieval maps Jerusalem was considered the center of the earth.
Six churches share custody of the Christian relics.
- Armenian http://youtu.be/BsFtF8aTL1c
- Abyssinian http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/encyc01.html?term=Abyssinia%20and%20the%20Abyssinian%20Church
- Coptic https://sites.google.com/site/copticorthodoxjerusalem/our-church-in-jerusalem
- Assyrian-Syriac Chaldean
- The Russians and protestants got there too late
There are many religious sites in Jerusalem including the Mount of olives, site of the Last supper(Cenacle), Golden Gate, Solomon’s stables, Absalom’s tomb and the Western Wall.
We followed the Stations of the cross. Culminating at the church of the Holy sepulchre on Golgotha. The Aedicule shows the place of the burial of Christ.
Way of sorrows via Dolorosa we had trouble finding the sixth station. A man had to show us were it was. I t was hidden inside of the Ethiopian church
Here are some things we bought, an olive wood creche. A bible with an olive wood cover. A book form the British & Foreign Bible Society describing 900 languages, one of my favorite books. We went to the Hadassah medical center at Mount Scopus to see the Chagall windows. We couldn’t get in, unlike Peru they weren’t friendly at all. If you missed it by ten minutes that’s just tough, come back tomorrow.
Dome of the rock is one the Temple mount. Also the Al-Aqsa mosque site of the assassination of Abdullah the grandfather of the King of Jordan in 1951.
Stopped for a Gin tonic at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was so good after walking in the hot sun all day. We had two, even at $3.00. Worth every penny. It even had ice and a whole bottle of tonic, apiece. Next time we’re definitely staying here.
We visited the tomb of the patriarchs in Hebron. The burial site of Sarah, Abraham, Rebecca and Isaac. We also saw Rachel’s tomb it is right by a bus sop in Jerusalem.
Bethlehem The birthplace of Jesus. We met a man outside the Church of the Nativity. He showed me a hand illuminated bible written in Syriac ܡܫܝܚܝܘܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ and told us the sad history of his church. He invited us to come back and visit him in the winter at Christmas. The start of the Crimean was over custody of the keys to this church. The entrance to the church is a half-door to keep the Turkish from riding their horses into the church.
Milk Grotto, this is where Mary and Joseph are said to have stopped during the Flight to Egypt. Quite a day for an old Sunday school teacher/ http://www.syrianchurch.org/
It is impossible to sink in the Dead Sea. It was warm enough for me to go swimming, however. The Dead sea is 400 m below sea level. En gedi and Bersheba are near by. http://www.bibleplaces.com/engedi.htm
We spent the night at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv TLV, before returning home in the morning. We weren’t allowed to leave the airport because of the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon, which started that day June, 6 1982. We had to sleep on the chairs in the airport. This is the airport serving Israel.
- How many languages are spoken on Earth?
- What is you favorite book of the Bible?
- When is the last time you went to Church?