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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We took a walk and looked at the beautiful flowers blooming all over Jerusalem. It is truly a beautiful city in the spring.

We also went to the shuk and bought food to prepare for Shavuot tonight.  It was such a festive time in Jerusalem as we saw the city preparing for the holiday.  People crowding in to buy cheesecake and quiche and other dairy dishes for the holiday. Since we have few dishes and cooking utensils we decided to buy a quiche and cheesecake instead of making our own. What an easy dinner menu.

It is truly a blessing to be in a place where the majority of people around you are aware of and celebrating the holiday on G-d's calendar.  We hope to walk to the Western Wall early tomorrow morning for Shavuot.  The forecast calls for rain but if the weather permits we will be there. Please pray for us as we fly back to Pensacola tomorrow afternoon.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

As we said in the last blog yesterday was Jerusalem Day. I don't think we have ever seen so many people in Jerusalem at one time.  It was truly amazing. It was also good to see how much the children of this land love their capital city. Everyone was waving flags and singing songs about Jerusalem

Today we went to the Western Wall.  It was a beautiful time there. So many boys were having their Bar Mitzvah.  what was the most touching was to see each young man arrive with his family and friends.  He was covered by a hupah which signified that he was about to enter into a marriage contract with   G-d.  His family sung and shofars were blown to announce the coming wedding,  It was very moving to see the symbolism played out in front of us of the marriage of G-d to His people.  The joy touched everyone around and people were crying and singing as we watched procession after procession of young men and their families going through this ceremony.  In all our years here this was the first time to see this and feel the emotions of the moment. Here is a video of one boy's entrance into the old city.

This afternoon we went to visit a very special person. Some of you might remember Jetta, the holocaust survivor whose house we painted last October.  We went to visit her today on her 89th birthday. (She argued it was her 90th birthday)  We really didn't think she would remember us but she did. She was much more alert and chatted with us for awhile. It was bitter sweet as she told us it was a difficult day for her since she had not one relative living to wish her happy birthday.  We sung Happy Birthday to her and took her her favorite chocolate and talked for awhile. She told us about her days working with her brother beginning the first ambulance service in Israel.  She was very happy to see the chocolate.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

We are looking forward to the activities tomorrow celebrating Jerusalem Day.  It is the day people come from all over the world to celebrate the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem after 2000 years of desolation and exile.   We hope to have pictures to post at the end of the day tomorrow.


The last few days have been filled with sights, people and meetings.  We arrived from the Galilee on Thursday after enduring temperatures of 100+ while going through the Jordan Valley and arrived in Jerusalem in the early afternoon.  Friday in the Holy City is like no where else in the world.  The streets and shops were packed with people doing their last minute shopping before the stores close for the Shabbath.  Jean and I were right in the middle of all of the activity.  The open air market was crammed with people, but we made our way through to get what we needed for the evening meal.  I am always amazed at how Jean can put together a wonderful meal on such short notice.

We had over night guests for the evening and spent until the wee hours talking and catching up on what had been going on it all our lives.  Shabbath was spent with another great meal and a walk around the neighborhood where we are staying.

Sunday and Monday were also taken with meetings and foraging for food, seems to be a never ending quest.  We have another meeting today and then may have a plate of hummus at our favorite place here in the city.

Tomorrow we are going to try to work out a visit with Jetta the holocaust survivor with whom we worked last October, pray that works out.  More to come later.  David and Jean

Thursday, May 02, 2013

We left the Galilee this morning and drove through the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem. Have I mentioned it was 101 degrees in the Jordan Valley today? Hot and no humidity - just the way I like it.  David dropped me and luggage at our "home away from home" and continued on to Eldan to return the rental car.  Eldan now has two offices in Jerusalem, side by side.  He drove to what he thought was the place to return the car but was told he had to go to the other office, which was about 10 feet away.  To do this he had to back down an alley that was just about the size of the small car we have been driving. He then had to back out into on coming traffic to get back around to the correct office. After they looked at the car he was told to go back to the woman he had talked to originally with his paper work to finish up.  She was still at her desk - still ten feet away.  You gotta love the system.

We have guests coming for the Sabbath so we will be out foraging for food tomorrow and getting ready for the Sabbath. I checked out the kitchen, which is kosher, and found only two large pots for cooking in the meat section of the kitchen. I called the person managing the apartments to tell her I can't cook a meal for guests with only two pots.  She said she would send a runner over with a skillet. That was 5 hours ago. No runner has arrived yet and no skillet has been found. I'm worried. Just how far does this runner have to run???

All jokes aside, it is really good to be back in Jerusalem.  The sun has set and a cool breeze is blowing. We have guests coming tomorrow and more coming on Saturday. We are praying for a wonderful time with the L-rd and with friends.  Will keep in touch.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

When we arrived at the airport yesterday afternoon we were reminded how advanced Israel is in technology. At passport control they made a small ID card that has our picture, passport number and the date we must leave the control plus other information on it. When we went to rent a car they asked to see the new card we had just received. So, now Israel will know everywhere we conducted business while in the country and if we left the country within the 3 months allotted time for tourists.  With this new technology they will know where all legal visitors are in the country.  Interesting.

Here are a few pictures of our day today.

The first picture is of course the blooming plants at Vered Hagalil Horse Ranch and sundown at the same place. The last picture is the Sea of Galilee. The picture is a little hazy since it was so hot today. But the wind is blowing and the weather seems to be changing. Hope we have cooler days ahead.
We had a safe flight to Israel and were greeted by unusually warm temperatures.  We decided to drive straight to our favorite place in the Galilee -Verid Hagalil for a couple of nights to recover from jet lag.  Verid Hagalil is a beautiful horse ranch with a fantastic restaurant.  As we drove from the airport north we discussed what delicious items on the menu we might enjoy upon our arrival.  Needless to say we were shocked to find the restaurant is no more. Construction is under way for another bigger and better restaurant. But for us last night it meant we had to again get in the car and go look for a place to eat.  We had some great humus, lots of salads and shishlik at Abu Salah's restaurant.

We were told at check in breakfast would be served in a room behind the office.  After a great nights sleep we showed up for breakfast.  The food was great but the setting was a bit unusual. The breakfast "bar" was presented in beautiful fashion on a pool table. If there is anything you can say about Israelis it is they are adaptable and creative.

Today we drove up on the Golan Heights and enjoyed all the beautiful flowers in bloom along with temperatures in the high 90's. It may have even reached 100 degrees for a minute or two.  The air is very dry so we were constantly drinking water.  Tomorrow we travel on to Jerusalem, we will post pictures soon.

David and Jean

Early to bed and really to rise

Just s short note to let you know we arrived.  Took about 30 hours counting two hours of driving after a 22 hour plane ride, good times.  Jean and I finally lay down at about 10PM israel time last night and I woke up at 1:30 AM, not much sleep but tonight should be better.  The weather is very hot, around 90 today by the Sea of Galilee but cooler tomorrow.

We are off now, will write more later and we will post some photos of the day.  Please continue to pray for us each day.
Shalom from Israel,
David and Jean