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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Jerusalem, Israel

Sep 16, 2012 - The Longest Week of the Year

It’s hard to believe I have only been in Israel since Tuesday; not even a full week. Between being really jet lagged and sick from the new water, most days I forget what time or day it is. Back in America I knew what time it was every hour, and always knew the date. But this past week feels like I have been carelessly floating around, staring at the hills around me, trying to process the fact that I am actually here. Last Thursday we drove to the beach on the Mediterranean Sea! It was beautiful! On the drive there we past so many groves;...

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Jul 17, 2012 - Judges in your Gates....

According to Psalms, “You are righteous… and your laws are straight” and “He leads me in circles of justice”. This is taken to mean that the laws of the land are necessarily rigid (they set a standard) but that in order to do justice, the entire set of circumstances must be reviewed from all angles. These ideas were put into play by the brother & sister team of architects Ram & Ada Karmi when they won the competition in 1986 from amongst 500 entrants worldwide to design the new building to house the Supreme Court of Israel. The previous one...

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Jul 16, 2012 - Bar Mitzvah's 'R Us

Well, I guess a Mazal Tov is in order. Or something. Turns out that Israeli Immigration & Border Services has recorded us as having made Aliyah upon arrival in Tel Aviv last Thursday, along with the 230 others on the Aliyah Flight we accompanied who ACTUALLY intended to become Israeli Citizens. I am, of course, mightily miffed. I mean, given that we are now officially Israeli citizens, exactly where is my basket of goodies? My Israeli Health Care card (Kupat Cholim) for example? My initial cash stipend of 1,600 shekels, for a better...

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Jul 15, 2012 - The U. and the K. in one day

Hillary Clinton is coming to Jerusalem tomorrow. She is staying at our hotel. This means that the joint is now jumping with with US and Israeli Secret Service agents, Israeli Police officers and IDF soldiers. I'm pretty sure that Batman & Robin are out there somewhere, too. There is a secret service guy on every elevator and another is stationed on every floor. They all have little plastic curly wires in their ears and whisper constantly into their lapels. I think they are ordering room service but I'm not sure. I presume she will want to...

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Jul 14, 2012 - Transliteration & Art on Shabbat

It may be the single most curious thing about Israel: Transliteration of words from other languages using the Hebrew alphabet. From “Pillsbury” to “Ikea”, there is no corporate logo or brand name that can’t be transliterated. I guess I can accept that, as you’d want that consistency. It’s the transliteration of everyday words that is the more curious aspect. Take “Dreadlocks”, for example. Why would you do that? Then again, why not? Todays’ photos include a small smattering of transliterations. Jerusalem is filled with dichotomies by...

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Jul 13, 2012 - King of Rugelach

Today's Jerusalem Post contained a photo and feature article on the Aliyah Flight arrival. It did not mention anything about the jet lag that one of it's passengers enjoyed dealing with overnight. Hence, enjoy the photo of the Old City taken a the crack of dawn this morning. I only had to wait about 3 hours till it was dawn so I could take the bloody photo. We were the first ones at the breakfast buffet today. I think we were there before the staff. But I think you'll enjoy the photo of the daily morning spread here at our Hotel by the...

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Jul 12, 2012 - Hitting the Wall

Our Aliyah flight arrived at Ben Gurion airport at 6:30am - about an hour ahead of schedule. An early arrival email was broadcast far & wide throughout Israel the night before (Israel time) so all of the families, press and dignitaries meeting us when we landed were in fact there and not an hour late. (Now wouldn't that be a sight? We all walk down the stairs to the tarmac and no one is there?). Anyway, it was all of 9:30am by the time the welcome ceremonies were complete; our luggage was located; and our free taxi ride into Jerusalem was...

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Jul 11, 2012 - Aliyah... by the numbers

Rivka is 19 and from Memphis. She has curly blonde hair and blue eyes. She stands about 4'10" (in heels) and looks like she is about 12. She is joining the Israeli Army upon arrival. She is one of over 2,500 North American Jews who made Aliyah in the past 10 years to do so. I'm hoping that most of them are taller, but suspect that she could take me down in a split second if she needed to, so I just wished her Mazal Tov and Kol HaKavod, as I did to many of the other 237 people we accompanied on this very special Aliyah flight to...

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May 14, 2012 - Jerusalem

ISRAEL Arrived in JERUSALEM after a 45 minute bus ride from the border. We alighted on to a busy street with directions to the Abraham Hostel. When we walked around a corner there was a nice big sign for the Palm Hotel where we checked in. This was the most frustrating hotel we have stayed in to date, the electrical quit working, the A/C didn’t work, a replacement fan screamed like a banshee and after our third room change both management and clients were sort of happy. After settling in our hotel we went out for dinner, we had a waiter who...

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Apr 28, 2012 - The Last Word

This has been an incredible journey and adventure. At times it h been physically and emotionally draining, at others light heart and fun. Overall it has been wonderful - not woeful! I hate auto correct! I have had many challenges- the climb of Mt Sinai was probably the biggest as well as going up in cable cars to the top of mountains. I have had many spiritual moments such as the Church of St Peter, the Garden of Gethsemane and the final mass. Yet there have been so much more than these. I have learnt so much about the history and geography...

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Apr 28, 2012 - The Last Day

Well it arrived. The last day. What a wonderful day it was too. We started early leaving for Herod's Gate and began our journey at the Church of flagellation. Not a wonderful name but, there were the first two stations at this point. Different people were chosen to read at each station followed by the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be prayers. Then a chant was sung, this had been organized by the Bear family. It was very moving. On the way out of the church I bumped my head on a cross, which I thought was very fitting. We travelled the...

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Apr 27, 2012 - Day 11 - Jerusalem

Today we started out going to the City of David and went into Hezekiah's Tunnel. Some of the students chose to go in the dry tunnel while many went into the wet tunnel. The tunnels are about 20 meters under ground. We turned off our flashlights and walked in the dark holding hands, touching the walls for guidance and singing songs. It was an amazing experience and at the end of the tunnel there was an ancient plaque stating that it was the halfway point where the two sides met over 2700 years ago. The Students then had some free time in...

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