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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Jerusalem, Israel

Jul 9, 2010 - beautiful Galilee

Even in Jesus' day, the Sea of Galilee was a rural, out-in-the-country kind of place, while Jerusalem was "the big city," full of hustle and bustle, markets and merchants. I wonder how often the Savior contemplated the differences b/t the two places. We don't have anything in the Gospels that constitutes a verbal endorsement of either place for the purposes of rest and relaxation, but just look at where He spent so much of His time: the Galilee region. Of course He spent time there primarily for purposes of ministry, but gee whiz--surely...

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Jul 8, 2010 - Bethlehem

Pilgrimages are not perfect. That's always been the case really. For as long as Christians have been crossing great distances to worship at the holy cites in and around Jerusalem, they've experienced one hindrance or another in their quest. For some in centuries past, that meant being accosted by marauding Muslims or fellow Europeans along the long and desolate roads between Europe and Jerusalem. For me, it simply meant dealing w/ sketchy taxi drivers and the bleak reality that is modern Bethlehem. Every popular international destination...

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Jul 7, 2010 - "He is not here. He is risen."

Today I saw w/ my eyes and touched w/ my hands that which I've believed w/ my heart for many years. The tomb is indeed empty. Jesus' body is nowhere to be found. The angel who met the women on the first Easter morning provided the reason why. "He is not here. He is risen." Today I crisscrossed the Holy City of Jerusalem, searching out as many biblical sites as possible and stopping to meditate on what Scripture says happened where. Along the traditional Via Dolorosa I reflected on Jesus' unjust death sentence and his Green Mile of a walk to...

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Jul 6, 2010 - in Jerusalem!

The Holy City is below me, on the other side of the Kidron Valley. The pilgrimage continues, now w/ greater earnest and focus. The academic portion of this trip is over. The foretaste that the biblical sites in Jordan offered is now over. The real deal is right outside. Thank God. I'm in Jerusalem. Today has not been w/o its adventures in getting here. Seven of us took a series of taxes and buses to get across the Jordan-Israel border. Once in Israel, we had to pass through customs. I had a one-in-seven chance in being questioned more than...

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May 27, 2010 - In the Holy Land

Had a good relaxing day in Frankfurt at new hotel. A short city tour and then I did the washing at the local laundrette. On Sunday morning we got a taxi to the airport and started to queue for our El Al flight. Armed guards everywhere. Then we were told that they had overbooked the flight and I was now on standby and to get a seat at the gate. Luckily I did get one and Dave's was fine. But when we went to go through they said that David had some more security checks to be done. His hand luggage was emptied and xrayed but he was allowed to...

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Mar 20, 2010 - Last Full Day

So today is our last day here :( We got to have a Shabbat lunch with Israeli families in walking distance. It was really nice to share that experience with them and spend time with a pretty traditional family (American father marries Israeli and they have 7 kids). Now we are hanging by the pool and relaxing until 6:00 when we have a group activity and dinner. After we are heading to Ben Yehuda Street for the evening before heading to the airport at 1 a.m. The group activity included a 10 minute slideshow of pics and songs, everyone spoke...

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Mar 19, 2010 - Full Day 8

Had to pack up again, moving hotels tonight (supposedly this is the most hotels our guides have been in one trip). On the way to the Holocaust Museum to listen to a survivor, go through the museum, and go to the cemetery. Survivor: From Holland, second most Jews exterminated after Poland. Mom moved them to nearby port city to be safe. Summer of 1940 started imposing laws against Jews -- removing workers, educators, judges, etc. from their jobs and forcing Jews into poverty. His family was thrown out of two houses. May 42-May 45 had to wear...

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Mar 18, 2010 - Full Day 7

So its a bit cooler today (actually really cold, it even hailed), heading to Old Jerusalem. Before leaving we got Mayanot t-shirts and took a group photo. At Old Jerusalem we said prayer, drank wine (9:23 am), entered Jerusalem right foot first and touched the city's mezuzah. First on the agenda, a taste of Jewish learning. Building we're in is 900 years old and built by crusader knights. The real story is finding who we are: Me (character - physical, emotional, etc. state), Self (soul - real person), I (Hashem - not the G-d in Heaven...

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Mar 17, 2010 - Full Day 6

Woke up at 6:15, had breakfast and took a 1.5 hour drive to Masada. Climb took about 5-10 minutes, but was very steep. King Harrod (Roman and forcefully converted to Judaism) created this palace - paranoid and narcissistic, kills everyone he doesn't trust. Bath House - Harrod spent a lot of time there, where many decisions were made. When the Romans land on Masada those are the last Jews left, out of ammunition, etc. As it was Passover, had to decide to fight or not (let the Romans win and be slaves again). Roman camps all around the...

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Mar 14, 2010 - The Holy City

At last!! We have arrived in Jerusalem! My flu passed as quickly as it came and I was able to rejoin the land of the living the next day. I am typing from a hotel computer (the first one that I have had access to!) so I can't upload pictures, but I honestly doubt it would do this city any justice. I've read about it, seen photos, watched videos, seen it on the news countless times and yet, this little city took my breath away. It is so vibrant and alive, you can't help but feel it when you walk down the streets. When we arrived, it was...

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Feb 24, 2010 - Jerusalem - Southern Israel

The second half of our tour of Israel was based in the ancient city of Jerusalem. Within its walls, the Old City is divided into four quarters, for the Jews, Muslims, Christians and Armenians. The history of Jerusalem stretches back 3,000 years, to when the city was the capital of ancient Israel under the rule of King David and his son Solomon. We also happened to be here during the annual Purim festival, which is sort of a combination of Halloween and Mardi Gras, so that was a lot of fun. Only in Israel will you go out to a bar, and there...

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Trip Journal


Where is John Lama?

Feb 20, 2010 - Today is my last day.

I can't believe my trip is almost over. It went by really fast. I'm sad that it's over, but I'm also looking forward to seeing my pets and my friends. Today we spent the day walking around Jerusalem. The tour group all had lunch together and then walked through the Old City for the final time. The Old City is divided into four parts, the Jewish part, the Christian part, the Armenian part and the Moslem part. Because the Jewish part was closed for the Sabbath, we walked through the Christian and Arab sections (we walked through the Armenian...

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