Boker Tov!

My Jewish friend, Eve, told us to respond to this morning greeting with “Boker Or!” We try it this morning and our guide is very impressed 🙂 He says Boker Or is an even nicer way of saying Good Morning.

You’ll be happy to know that I have now fully adjusted to Israeli time, sleeping soundly from 9:30-5:30 the past 2 nights. Just in time to go home.

Ah well. I’m thankful for the good sleep.





Hertzl Museum~

I am easily bored. It’s one of my faults and I know it’s a bad one but I seem to be stuck with it.

So today begins with me being pretty sure this museum won’t nterest me much. After all, I’ve never heard of this Hertzl guy. I know the term “Zionist” but I don’t really know what it means.

I am wrong.

I may be hooked on Jewish history….it’s so fascinating. I knew nothing of this movement and the museum explains it in my favoite way…an audio-visual  that provides us an encounter with the Jewish visionary himself, Theodore Hertzl.

One quote worth noting: “A state who has suffered so much must know how to treat the minorities in it’s midst with respect.” I see this in Israel as they attempt to treat all their citizens with respect while maintaining their statehood. It’s a challenge, as we all know.

I could never have believed a two week trip someone else planned would not hold a single moment of boredom for me. But it hasn’t….not one. I have been engaged and excited to learn the whole time we’ve been here.

Much credit for this goes to Nabil, our wonderful guide, who is a walking history book. It has also been a huge blessing to be here with others who have made this journey before and can help answer my zillion questions.

And, sadly, I’ve been spelling Nabil’s name incorrectly this whole time. Along with several other names 🙂


Golgotha, or the place of the skull today….


…and a picture taken in 1900. A lot of erosion has happened.

Golgotha and the Garden Tomb~

Seeing this place in real life was wonderful. The perspective of seeing the city blocks where Jesus’ trial took place…then Golgotha…and the valley in between, which Romans would have used for executions…it was a touching time.

I never realized that the Bible doesn’t actually say Jesus was crucified on a hill. Our lovely British-accented guide, Ann, tells us that it’s likely the crucifiction took place in the valley below the hill of Golgotha,  along the busy road from Damascus to Jericho.

She shares several other details about the place itself that are nteresting before we walk over the Garden Tomb and are able to step inside.

Lloyd points out that when the disciples went into the empty tomb they saw two angels, one at the foot and another at the head of the place where Jesus had lain, just as angels were on either side of the mercy seat.


We all have plenty of time to go in and out of the tomb then we hold a worship service nearby. Kendal shares a personal dream he had a few nights ago. He speaks of the joy that was set before Jesus…that He could SAVE us….and also quotes a portion of Martin Luther King’s speech…

” I have a dream that someday every valley shall be exalted and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. ”

So many scriptures take on new meaning when you have seen this country. My friends told me this before I came. I didn’t really believe them but it’s true.

Believing, we share in His Joy!


It’s spring time over here…we’ve had beautiful weather since leaving Galilee.

We have free time in the afternoon and Dwayne and I choose to spend it in the Old City with Wyatt & Gail and Wayne & Carolyn. We walk a few streets, talk to a few merchants, and eat lunch. And Dwayne buys another suitcase…this time from the $35 guy!

Lisa Miller, a Washington friend who has lived in Jerusalem 2 1/2 years, joins us after lunch, takes us to see the CAM office just outside of the old city and gives us a peek into her life. It is so good to see her again and inspiring to hear her stories!  Fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, she is building many relationships with women of all ethnic groups….which take a lot of time and energy. She can use our prayers.

I ask Dwayne a question about Palestinians as we are walking down the busy street and suddenly one shopkeeper, who obviously overheard us, yells out an answer. We stop short..look around…and spot him. This leads to an extremely enlightening conversation where I learn a lot about life from his Arabic point of view.  I could spend even more time in the old city. I’m so thankful we got to come back this afternoon for awhile.

A taxi ride to the motel is uneventful and we have time for a short nap before our evening outing…a Shabbat meal with a local Jewish family. The couple is probably in their 30’s and full of excitement to meet us. The wife, especially, has an exhuberant personalily. They  have 4 young children and there are 18 of us so it is noisy and difficult to hear everything but still extremely interesting as they share their customs and blessings. The food is good and all in all, it’s a fun evening with a lively family. I love the blessings they pray over their children.

Elena, I think I may have met your Jewish twin! 🙂 🙂

Tonight is the beginning of Shabbat. Shops close, public transport shuts down, few cars are on the road and there are 621 forbidden things for the observant Jewish people to remember.


Our bus driver, Ihab, is a wonderful Arabic man whom we have grown quite attached to. I declare that he can drive within a centimeter of a bus beside us and never hit it. He parks on sidewalks if that’s what it takes to get us where we need to be. We have appreciated his expertise and his big smile. I tease him that he’s going to be able to have a nice night out on the town with the water money he’s made off of me!

One more day, then Home Sweet Home. We spend a week in Ohio before this trip so we will be gone 24 days in all. Long time.

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