Amy Molinero's Trip to Israel: Day 5

Like every day we have been here we have had a packed agenda, but the entire day was spent in Jerusalem.

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At the end of the day yesterday, we drove to Jerusalem for our last leg of the trip. What a difference in temperature from the Galilee. It was actually quite chilly.

This morning when I woke up it was even colder and raining. After the gorgeous weather we have been having, it put a slight damper on things. But since Israel has not had any rain to speak of since April, everyone was happy that it was raining.

Like every day we've been here, our agenda was packed, but the entire day was spent in Jerusalem. We started out going up to Mt. Scopus, driving by the Truman Center, Hadassa and Hebrew Universities and the American Colony—now a hotel.

Our first stop was up on Mt. Olives with its beautiful panoramic view overlooking Old City Jerusalem. We saw the Dome of the Rock, walked down the Palm Sunday route—which was very steep and a bit slippery this morning. Next we went to the church of Dominus Flavit, which means Jesus is weeping. The dome is shaped like a tear, signifying Jesus’ crying over Jerusalem because he knew and predicted that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed (which happened 35 years later).

(Dome of the Rock)

After that we went to the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane, where some of the trees are estimated to be over 2,000 years old and then the Church of All Nations. When we walked into the church an American priest was saying Mass.

(Inside the Church of All Nations at Gethsemane)

We saw the Tomb of Mary and later went to the Garden Tomb, believed to be the site of the Resurrection. I was amazed by how many different groups from around the world were there. In one of the little pavilions we heard beautiful group singing, which, I later  found out was being sung by tourists from Indonesia!

(Empty Tomb of Jesus)

(Outside the tomb of Jesus)

Next we went to Yad Veshem, the Holocaust museum. Going through the museum was very powerful. Afterward, several of us, who are traveling together, discussed the experience. Richelle Wiseman, a Canadian journalist, felt the jarring contrast of going from the hope and triumph of the Resurrection to the horror witnessed at Yad Vashem.

Steve Norman, an African-American magazine editor, who has lost several family members due to racism, and has previously had a hard time thinking of such hatred, shared that this was the first time he was able to move from anger and frustration to creative resolution. Walking through Yad Vashem was the most moving part of this trip. He feels he finally had a breakthrough.

The trip is winding down. I am sad to think we only have a few more days in this wonderful city. This has been a trip of a lifetime.


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