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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Yesterday was an exciting day.  We began the morning by going to the Kotel,Western Wall or Wailing Wall - whatever you prefer to call it. It was amazing to see about half the population of Jerusalem making their way with their children and extended families to experience Brichat Hacohanim which is the day when the Rabbi's of the Western Wall do the Priestly Blessing for the holiday of Sukkoth or Feast of Tabernacles.  It was quite a day at the plaza and at the Wall, were literally people from all over the world were gathering.  Jean, Garry and I felt quite privileged to be here at this time of the year.  This holiday is one of the three in the scriptures that requires all Jews to come to Jerusalem.  It was a beautiful sight seeing the Jewish men carrying their lulav and etrog to wave before the L-rd. If you want to learn about where they get this ritual read Leviticus 23:34-42.  (When we iron out the kinks of attaching pictures we will post some pictures from today.)



It was so crowded at the Kotel we thought the open air market - the Shuk would be empty. But when we got there we found the other half of Jerusalem's population.  It was so crowded we could hardly walk. 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Arrived safely in Jerusalem, after about 33 hours awake.  Had a great flight, every plane on time, and arrived about 30 minutes early.

I will include a few pictures of the ride from the airports to Jerusalem.  It was pretty exciting, and those of you who have been here will understand what I mean.

Happy second day of Sukkoth.  Here in Jerusalem there is a Sukkah at every restaurant so it is easy to eat a meal in a Sukkah.

Bless you all, will write more tomorrow. David and Jean

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Rainy night in Jerusalem


Our last night in Jerusalem is filled with rain. It has rained off and on for three days.  Israel depends on G-d to bless the country with rain to provide the country with enough water for the coming year so it is always seen as a blessing.  Hopefully the Sea of Galilee will fill with water before the rainy season ends in the spring.

Tomorrow afternoon we head to the airport thankful that G-d has given us the opportunity to be here again, to meet people in need and touch lives.  It was certainly a high point of our time here to meet Meir and get to know him as we painted his apartment. We hope to see him again on future trips.

We ask you to pray for Israel and support this land in any way you can.  Scripture says Israel is the apple of G-d's eye.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Sand, sun and rain all in one day!

This is the way the postal system works here. These are bags of mail being taken to the post office for distribution.  Notice the neat postal uniform being worn by the mailman. Also, there is a bag of mail sliding off his cart.  Stop worrying - he came back and picked it up. Jerusalem Motto: Neither rain nor snow or sand storm can keep the mail from being distributed.

The sand was still heavy in the air as we walked to the Old City this morning. Even though you can't really see it in this picture of David's Citadel, we saw people going by with masks over their nose and mouth.  The airport was still closed this morning.


Thursday is the day for Bar Mitzvahs. As you can see from the picture above, a young man( in the gold and black coat) was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah with his family. They have the Torah Scroll open.  Several celebrations were taking place in different places near the Wall.  We were thankful the rain held off until they were finished.  Tomorrow the air should be much cleaner since it has rained hard this afternoon.

We had one last fling of hummus, falafel balls, eggplant, pita and apple cake. Tomorrow night the Sabbath begins and we will eat healthier.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

In the windy and sandy city of Jerusalem, sorry Chicago.

Today has been a strange day. We have had high winds, sand blowing off the desert and cool temperatures. We decided to go for a walk around the city today. Our first stop was the King David Hotel. We sat in the lobby, rested and discussed whether we should check in and dump our apartment. Tulips were displayed all around the lobby. But finally, we decided our apartment was much better and continued on our walk.
Our next stop was the Montefiore Windmill.  

It was the first time we have seen the wind so strong that it was moving the windmill.  
Then we made our way to the Mamilla Mall - looking but no shopping. We stopped for lunch.


Then, as we got back to Jaffa Road we shopped some more and took pictures of the sand storm. You can see it did not stop Israelis from shopping.  We joined them and also stopped for coffee before heading back to the apartment.

This is the view from our apartment tonight.  The airport has been closed all day and continues to be closed.  Tomorrow rain is forecast so we hope the air will clear with the rain falling. We saw several people walking around town with mask on to protect them from the pollution.




Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The best way to have breakfast in Jerusalem is to sit next to someone carrying a gun.

We met our friend at breakfast and then had her come speak to our traveling companions about her life. She has quite the testimony.  It was good to hear how G-d has worked in her life.  We have known Suzanne for more than 20 years. Great to see her again and catch up on what is happening in her life.

The wind began to pick up this morning and got stronger as the day progressed. Now we have a sand storm blowing in off the desert and it has started to rain a bit.  We went to the Jerusalem Museum to see the Dead Sea Scrolls but for some reason it was closed. Again - when all else fails we shop!! Tomorrow if weather permits we will visit the Dead Sea. Our time is quickly coming to an end. Please pray for our last few days here.  

Stormy day in Jerusalem. Hopefully it will be a peaceful day.


Monday, November 02, 2015

Monday in the city, from art to a gathering of old men.

Today was our day to work in the soup kitchen. We walked past the shuk, past the central bus station and on our way enjoyed some Israeli art.  The red in this picture is a giant poppy that opens up when a person walks by. Below is one fully open.  Very creative.


After we enjoyed the poppies we walked on to find the soup kitchen. After 45 minutes of walking and looking and a couple of phone calls to the manager we gave up and walked back to the shuk. We consoled ourselves with shopping and eating.


We saw this deep thought written on the wall above a shop in the shuk.  
Do you agree? Real eyes realize real lies. Not easy to say.

Then we moved on to a famous Iraqi restaurant, "Azura" and enjoyed a delicious lunch. Below is a close up of Musaka, a dish of eggplant and ground beef in a wonderful spicy sauce.

Across from the restaurant was a large gathering of elderly men playing cards and bat gammon. David joined them, looking over their shoulders as they played along with a few other on lookers. You can pick David out in the picture - he's much younger than the others.  At least 50 men playing games and not one woman in the place. I'm sure they are all home cooking and cleaning while the guys are out playing games.