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Next Year In Firenze

So we’re sitting in Michael Bloom’s Notre Dame College office on a sunny 30 degree Monday afternoon in South Euclid, reminiscing about the Israel Trip that just ended this weekend. I’m missing the wonderful variety of food, and I didn’t like having to cook my own breakfast and wash the dishes!

The Things That Bring Us Together

One week in Israel. We have seen and done so much, it’s almost impossible to put it into perspective. From the packed streets of Jerusalem and Bethlehem to sleeping in a Bedouin village to shopping in street markets for local spices to the grandeur of Masada to a glimpse of life on a kibbutz – this is definitely a country of diversity and variety. 

A Picnic on the Jordan

Much of modern Israel, with its freeways, shopping plazas and palm trees, feels a lot like California -- until you come across a soldier in uniform sitting at a bus stop. 

This is a country in a constant state of alert. 

Greetings from Galilee

Greetings from Galilee,

The refrain from the hymn "Holy Ground" is always playing in my head. ”This is holy ground, we are standing on holy ground.” 

Meditation on Masada

On Sunday I made the journey to Masada, the mountain-top site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. Thankfully, the cable car made it possible to avoid the winding snake path to the top of the mountain.

Saturday in Jerusalem

Michael and Roz insisted I do this!

Actually, I am only too happy to add my thoughts to Michael’s and Mark’s and Sr. Carol’s. This has been an outstanding experience! In addition to the obvious (or maybe not so obvious) value of a journey through Israel and the Holy Land, the trip has been planned with great precision and creativity by Roz.

Shabbat Shalom

This morning, after wishing my fellow NDC travelers shabbat shalom, we entered the Old City of Jerusalem at about 9:30 a.m. through the Jaffa Gate. How thrilling to enter the gates of the holy city so often referenced in the Bible! The city gates are connected by the walls that surround Jerusalem. We walked the tops of those walls mindful of the fact that Roman soldiers, crusaders, or Israeli resistance fighters had kept night watch on those walls. The strong winds created a bit of a challenge for us. This was truly a pilgrimage.

Model City

We began our day at Mishkenot Sha’ananim, which was the first Jewish community built outside of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. A Jewish philanthropist named Sir Moses Montefiore built this development in the 1850s. 

NDC Lands in Holy Land

In spite of the fact that many of us have not slept for nearly 28 hours, we arrived in Israel and are having a great time. Our flight from Newark to Jerusalem was a tad bumpy and long, but thankfully uneventful.

We drove straight from Ben Gurion Airport to a scenic overlook of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and then walked down a path alongside the Garden of Gesthemane. The view of the Old City walls was misty and near mystical.