Here is a post I worked on while still in Jerusalem after an amazing day spent with a top archaeologist in Israel. We truly had an amazing time there and here are a few of the crazy stories from the trip.
You would just not believe all that has happened in this week here in Israel! Locked in an elevator, lost in Jerusalem-while walking home after a very long day walking everywhere, Kirk’s hat blew off his head and landed in the busy street below, Candelario running down 2 flights of stairs, around a corner and into that busy street to get that hat.
It’s been amazing!
The people we have met have been wonderful and we have met quite a few. Yesterday we got a tour of old Jerusalem with an archaeologist. Not just an archaeologist however. One of the top in his field here in Jerusalem. He had been that morning, on a dig with another leader in archaeology, an Iranian Jew who grew up with best friends who were Arabic, and 2 groups of 4th graders. One Jew, one Arabic. They worked together and had an amazing time. The Iranian Jew talked to the children, our tour guide translated for them, teachers translated to make sure the children understood the importance of what was happening. The Iranian man bought them all popsicles because it was an important moment for these kids and teachers. Jew and Arabic children eating, learning and working together.
He showed us a shop run by an Arab man who had recently gotten married. Our guide told us how on Sabbath the Jews cannot buy things, they can run to this shop if they need to, take what they need and take care of it later. If someone wants an ice cream and it was not kosher, he would say, “not that one, this is the one you want”.
He showed us where the old city is buried beneath the new city. The Romans created a road over some, called the “Carbo” now in ruins but the columns are still there. Beneath that, and many of the homes, is remains of Hezekiah’s wall built to keep out Sennecherib. Remains of walls from Solomon’s time were there right alongside ruins from years later. Thousands of years old. His own home is built on top of Hezekiah’s wall. They dug out a storage room in the basement and found charred remains from the Romans, which they kept to use as part of wedding ceremonies and an oil lamp from the time of Solomon.
We were fascinated. Then he took us into his home where we met his wife, whose brother is a script writer for the show “Everybody Loves Raymond”. His daughter is getting married soon so there were invites on the table for that. He showed us the Torah and some other books he has for study. We were so surprised that he opened his home to us, a bunch of Americans he had never met before.
He taught us so much; about the reign of the Turks when young people would go into hiding because otherwise they would be taken into the army. He told us about when the Synagogue had been bombed and destroyed, how he felt, how so many felt. It had been the best one in the area and the enemy knew that once that temple was destroyed the people would lose heart and lose the battle.
We have met so many amazing people around here. Kirk and Kevin met the head of the immunology department in the best hospital here in Jerusalem. They talked with him for quite a while one night at the ice cream shop. The young man who sent Barnea to show us around, Moishe is a grand master chess player! (I thought he was maybe 16, but he is actually about 25! I must be getting old. Some look so young!)
We rode a bus the other day and what a trip! It was full when it pulled up so we weren’t going to get on, but the people said, “Get on! Get on!” So we did. I and Trish were standing in the front window of the bus! Now that was an experience! On these roads, congested and full of people and cars and motorcycles, we were standing on an overcrowded bus right in the front window. What a view!! It is quite frankly, a highlight of my trip so far!! It became, to our little group, a “chicken bus”! Reminiscent of the buses from Candilario and Kirk’s trips in Mexico where there are actually buses that are that full and fuller, they call them “chicken Buses”.
I am so blessed to have been able to be a part of this trip! Thank you Lord for Your provision!