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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Jerusalem, Israel

Apr 26, 2012 - Day 10

We started the day at the Agron Youth Hostel enjoying a lecture by Neil Lazarus. He is a Middle East current affairs expert and shared his wealth of information with the students. We then had a picnic lunch in Independence Garden and proceeded to walk to Safra Square which is also the City Hall of Jerusalem. We danced and sang and for about an hour with delegates from all around the world. The students had opportunities to trade their USA pins and flags with other students from Panama, Brazil, Israel, Canada, Argentina, France and many...

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Apr 26, 2012 - The Old City

Wow, we are having an awesome time! One of the wonderful things about this trip is that we are making so many close friends who will be with us when we get back and to share our moments with and many dinners and parties etc.... We have made close friendships with Alison and Owen and shared one of the most scariest and fantastic adventures with them! Also the Bear family have been wonderful companions on our journey and become part of our lives and into the future. It's been a couple of days but very packed and fullfilling. The other day we...

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Apr 24, 2012 - Jerusalem

Wellwe have finally made it to the Holy City. Along the way to Jerusalem from Tiberius. We're able to venture through Ceaseria by the sea, created by Hereod the Great and have a quick splash in the Meditaranian Sea and it was wonderful. But here I am in the city of Jerusalem and what an amazing place. We have shopped in Bethlehem, which was so expensive, beyond our budget for this we liked, but we did get a few nick nacks. We are looking forward to our visit to the old city today to purchase more cheaper versions! We have ventured to the...

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Jan 19, 2012 - Jerusalem Day 1

We spent the whole day in Jerusalem. For me, it included times of incredible reverence, times of tears, times of disappointment at the spectacle, and times of joy. I'm not sure I can describe everything we've done today, but will try to share the highlights. After breakfast, we headed to the Mount of Olives and the Church of All Nations. This church is supposed to commemorate the spot where Jesus prayed...and kept finding his disciples sleeping. Tradition says that he taught the disciples to pray the Lord's prayer there. After we read the...

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Jan 3, 2012 - Endnotes

Of interest to possible future travelers to the area: Throughout the trip, security guards everywhere dismissed me and my entourage as innocuous. I felt like there was virtually no security coming into Israel. Leaving, there was more, and that was where we got the most attention. The officer who did the first passport check noticed Kevin and I still practicing our Hebrew on each other, and she asked how it was that we knew Hebrew, and a string of questions followed. When I answered one of them "Shabbat," she waved us on. Final travel...

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Jan 3, 2012 - Appendix - Recipes

Israeli Salad I've been asked why is this salad so common. Maybe because lettuce is not, as it probably consumes a lot of water to grow, but the ingredients for this are. This is what I made based on what I found in the market. Tomatoes - about 4, cubed Cucumbers - about 3, cubed Juice of 2 lemons Olive oil - about 1/2 the amount of lemon juice Salt - a large pinch Zatar seasoning - sprinkle as much as you want of this popular middle eastern mix available at every spice shop Parsley and mint leaves torn into bits Hadassa's Chocolate...

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Dec 26, 2011 - Rachel's Tomb

Today I have no pictures because Lydia took most of them and I want to let her dictate the commentaries. If you noticed a different voice for the descriptions of the church pictures it was because Kevin was the camera man for those and so I gave him description rights. Today was a social day and I did not think we would see any major sites. Wow was I wrong. Bayla, our friend from the Chanukia building, who turned out to be the wife of a high up Rabbi at the International Aish organization, invited us to sit in on a class given by her...

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Dec 26, 2011 - "Tour of Jewish Quarter with Bayla Berger"

Sweeping through the streets in her brown cape, Bayla Berger is a well known figure here. She easily walks through gates with no entry signs on them, allowing a non-tourist's look at the Jewish Quarter. One picture I did not get while visiting with Shalom and Penina was of the Yeshiva where terrorists struck a few years ago. It's right down the block from their apartment. The students there laughed when a group arrived with a box that appeared to contain a large television. Why would anyone bring us a television, they laughed as they asked...

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Dec 26, 2011 - Last day surprises

The phone rang early. It was Geva, who set up our Shabbat meals. He said that if we were free, he could take us to a beautiful place on the Mount of Olives, a rare Jewish-owned place there. Fortunately my attempt at purchasing tickets to the highly recommended Time Elevator never worked out, so were were free. Touring with Geva I was expecting an archaelogical site, but instead of something underground, it was a view from the highest place we visited the entire trip. The two-building complex was purchased from an Arab. Properties are...

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Dec 25, 2011 - Church of the Holy Sepulchre Christmas Day

I called Mrs. Berger, our hostess from Saturday evening in the old city and she invited us to tea. Kevin was hoping the Lutheran church would be open but it was closed until New Years. On a return trip to the Church of the Holy Sepluchre, a large crowd was to be found. The church was built around a number of sites that were designated by Queen Helena, mother of Constantine who accepted Christianity over Paganism in the 300's AD. In the evening we had a final visit with the homeschool family we met with earlier in our trip. We were cold and...

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Dec 25, 2011 - Shabbat till we Drop

Who opened our window? This morning Lydia complained it was cold and noisy and prevailed on Kevin to get out of bed and investigate how the window had mysteriously opened during the night. After some prodding, he found an odd stuffed sock. Inside was a tasty, if not nutritious, Christmas breakfast for him. There is a big candy shop near us. Then we went to the market where she and I got green halavah (a mix of sesame seeds, honey, and for the green, pistaccio). We went to the candy store for more loot, and we came home to enlist Kevin on...

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Dec 23, 2011 - Signing off for the week.

Kevin and Lydia maintained their ritual of Friday Daddy Daughter time. They came to get me to see a protest by women over the Orthodox attempt to pass a law that would prohibit women from singing in public. You might see some comments on the subject in the news from Hilary Clinton. To present a variation on a well-known poem: Merry Christmas to all and to all a Shabbat Shalom.

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