City of Gold
It's fortunate we went to Poland first before coming to Israel. Going up to Jerusalem was like coming up from the depths. After flying in the middle of the night and getting very little sleep, we started our day with clear blue skies on a hill overlooking the city. If you look carefully, you can see the gold dome marking the Dome of the Rock, a most sacred site for Moslems. We said traditional prayers of thanks and drank small glasses of wine to celebrate our arrival in the land of Israel.
Even from that high vantage point, a look in the other direction shows the dividing wall snaking its way through the edge of the city, a constant reminder that not all is peaceful here.
This afternoon's itinerary included a visit to Mt. Herzl, the park where the founder of Zionism was laid to rest. It turns out one of the cute young soldiers we saw there was someone our congregation had hosted in DC several years ago. Here she is calling her mother to relay the coincidence. You get used to seeing young people with guns everywhere.
We returned to our hotel late in the afternoon, where I looked out the window at this breath-taking view as I sipped my coffee. Everything in view was part of Jordan until 1967 when the 6-day war returned it to Israel. I am constantly reminded what a small country this is and how often borders have changed.
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