Israel : Day 4

How do I feel at the end of the day?

Dead tired. Like yesterday, we walked a lot. I mean, it’s a good thing because I saw a lot but whew! I’m tired.

The group walking up Via Dolorosa.
The group walking up Via Dolorosa.

What was the weirdest thing I ate?

I had Shawarma today!! Very tasty 🙂 All of the veggies were falling all over the place.

Did I avert a disaster?

Not really. Nothing too crazy happened today.

What was the most beautiful thing I saw?

How many crosses and crescents can you see?
How many crosses and crescents can you see?

This view. I’m on top of the Austrian Hospice, a Roman Catholic run organization. While looking over the city, I noticed several crosses and crescents dotting the rooftops. Those are churches and mosques blocks away from each other. Such different cultures surviving so close to one another.

Who was the most interesting person I talked to today?

Dia Abdeen - Shop Owner
Dia Abdeen – Shop Owner

This is the owner of the Alabama Shop in the Old City of Jerusalem. How funny right!? His brother went to the University of Alabama and lived in Alabama for several years before moving back to Israel to carry on the family business. When he did that, they redid the shop with Alabama decoration to remember life in Tuscaloosa.

What was the highlight of my day?

BEST SURPRISE EVER!! Everyone should check out this place!!
BEST SURPRISE EVER!! Everyone should check out this place!!

So of COURSE this was the highlight of my day. I was shocked to find this place and had no idea it was there. Notice I ironically had on an Auburn shirt today. When I walked in the shop, Dia gave me a big smile and said War Eagle! Man it was so good to hear those words. While in the shop, another kid about my age came by freaking out too. Turns out he was from Mobile and went to Auburn too. We told each other War Eagle with giant smiles on our face. It’s amazing how small the world actually is. 🙂

What was the most moving part of the day?

Western Wall - Most moving part of the trip.
Western Wall – Most moving part of the trip.

First happened this morning when we went to the Western Wall. To see so many people come to pray to God was incredible. The Jewish traditions that have survived trials and time in this city continue to amaze me. The bottom two layers of stone at the Temple are from the Herodian period and were part of the Temple Jesus would have visited. I quietly made my way to the women’s side and took a seat watching the other women have their time with God in their own ways. I respectfully read a devotion and tucked my prayers into the wall. It was incredible to be in such a Holy place and feel so connected.

Did I realize something about the trip?

I realized how truly blessed I am to be able to travel like I do. Not everyone gets to do this, and I am truly thankful for the opportunity.

What was the funniest quote?

I know I laughed a lot but nothing really stands out ….

Did I learn anything? If so, what?

I learned about the tassels on Jewish prayer shrouds. The tassels were a part of their clothes in the ancient world and showed authority. In the old testament, David becomes king by chopping off Saul’s tassels instead of killing him. Saul said, “I now see you are the new king.” David held the authority of the king in his hands when he held the tassels. Therefore, he was king. Today, the tassels are worn on the four corners of the prayer shrouds in remembrance of that.

Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Church of the Holy Sepulcher

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