When in Jerusalem….

Posted by on November 14, 2013

Last weekend I had the amazing fortune to go with CIEE on a weekend trip to Jerusalem in which I had many delightful cultural (especially the culinary related ones) experiences. My morning began at 6:00 am on Friday as I woke up bright eyed and eager, well, more like I woke up and wanted to strangle the first person who spoke to me…but it was all worth it in the end. In Jerusalem, our director’s friend, J, took us on a slightly less than orthodox tour of the more modern sites in the city. First he took us to the most delicious breakfast buffet where I ate more than I want to even think about. Even cooler was the fact that we were in a quaint, literary cafe called Tmol Shilshom owned by a talented Israeli author. He even sat with us and read us one of his short stories about road rage and discussed Israeli literature. If you are ever in the area, this is a must visit:

http://www.tmol-shilshom.co.il/en/home/default.aspx

After stuffing our faces, we went to go buy more food from the market place in order to prepare a shabbat dinner. Each group was assigned certain items to buy and then we were unleashed upon the world. I felt like we were in the Amazing Race and I think we would have won had my group not been distracted by our “modeling-with-fruit session”. Once we had all assembled with our goods at J’s apartment, we began to prepare a delicious meal of a chicken and a orange soup, salad with beets and eggplant, and a veggie stir fry with rice [there was also meat, but I did not pay attention to this]. After working hard on the meal, I personally snuck off for an afternoon snack and got to experience an interesting phenomenon. As I was purchasing baklava in the market, these orthodox Jews came walking by blowing a horn and yelling at stall vendors to close. J explained that they do this every Friday as it gets closer to 4 and the beginning of shabbat. This definitely would never have worked in the US, but no one seemed concerned even though all the racket had me convinced that Jerusalem was under attack!

When I got back, J divided us into groups and assigned us to home-stays with different friends of his. My friend Ashley and I were assigned to a lovely American jew, N, who lived in a almost bohemian style house with 5 other girls. They were incredibly welcoming and took us to their shabbat service where Ashley and I rocked the orthodox conservative style and hopelessly attempted to follow along with their prayers and chanting. It was a fascinating experience and I thought I would feel self-conscious, but everyone seemed perfectly accepting of our presence and some women even leaned over to try and guide as we clearly had no idea what we were doing. Then we all went back to J’s house where we ate the shabbat meal we had prepared earlier [delayed gratification with food is not my thing, but this time it was worth it]. They explained the different prayers and their meanings and showed us how to wash our hands before blessing and eating the challah bread. Everyone was extremely welcoming and the night went quickly as we ate delicious food and had great conversation.

The next day we toured the Israel museum and learned a lot about the history in the area. We got to see several exhibits designed to look just like synagogues in various countries and it was fascinating to see the architectural differences from Suriname to Germany to India. J then took us to a predominantly Arab neighborhood where his friend gave us a tour and tried to break down the political situation. Of course, with any conflict one must keep in mind that everyone has a bias in their story, but our tour guide gave one of the more fascinating accounts that I have heard since coming here. One impressive part was that despite his Muslim heritage, his daughter was Jewish and he thus he had connections to the other side. He even said that he completely understood the Jewish campaign for their own nation, however, he also showed us a darker side to the neighborhood where the intermingling of Arabs and Jews is not a positive relationship.

In this neighborhood in East Jerusalem , some of the more politically right Jews have begun to try and take houses away from Arab families. They do this with claims that they had ownership for the place and wait until the family leaves then try to occupy all or part of the house. Ownership in Israel can be a tricky thing as sometimes people own the house, but not the land and there can be great controversy over the matter. Therefore, clashes and protests happen here on a regular basis. As he was leading us through the neighborhood, I could see that members of our group became emotional as they were confronted directly with the conflict and they had to try and reconcile their own personal beliefs to this tour. We were put through the emotional grinder even further when a group of orthodox Jews tried to confront our group and the looks they shot at our Arab tour guide gave me a feeling for one second of what it is like to have people hate your existence. For one second, I felt I understood the fear and anger one must experience when confronted with such issues. This was only a small slice of life in the neighborhood, but it sent chills down all our backs. Afterwards, our group discussed what we had experienced and, although it was not the most rosy part of our trip, we all agreed that this was exactly why we had come to Israel.

I could not have been more fascinated by my tour of Jerusalem and am so grateful that we got to see such a different perspective. Usually people only go to see the holy and more touristy sites, but our director really worked hard to get us a more unique experience in the city and I feel that I came back understanding this complicated enigma that is Israel in a different way and perhaps feeling even more confused. To be sure, nothing is black and white here.

19 Responses to When in Jerusalem….

  1. Clarence Mancera

    Just a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great design and style .

  2. Jeffie Cantara

    Hello there, You have done an incredible job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

  3. http://bmwlavalgroup.com/aardvarktopsites/Index.php?a=stats&u=kourtneweed

    Hi there, all is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is

    sharing data, that’s genuinely fine, keep up writing.

  4. Major Halliman

    Definitely, what a great website and revealing posts, I will bookmark your site.Have an awsome day!

  5. longchamp warranty

    Yes! Finally something about online kinderkleding outlets.

  6. jackmvpigsrqteyro

    Surging inflation has caused the country’s central bank to raise interest rates three times since March amid a rapid economic rebound from the global recession and been a growing headache for India’s government. コーチ トートバッグ Car makers will have to make their energy-efficient products more competitive to attract buyers, said Yale Zhang, managing director of consulting firm Automotive Foresight. nike shox turbo 2013 ?? ————-Lu Jiehua, a professor of sociology at Peking University, adding that authorities also need to make people aware of the dangers of abortion. camiseta hollister REJUVENATED by hours of repairs in space, the Hubble Space Telescope floated out of shuttle Atlantis’ cargo bay yesterday to reclaim its place as the world’s flagship observatory for astronomical research. The Pentagon had shared the cost of such incidents in the past, but U.S. officials were now insisting that companies paid for the cost of retrofits with their own funds.

    Government stimulus measures also lifted consumer demand for big-ticket items like household appliances. But the recovery of private consumption appears to be broadening to items beyond those covered by government incentives. The benefits of export growth may finally be trickling down to households, economists say. pandora bracelet Nepal, who began his six-day visit to China on December 26, said he is impressed by the development of Shanghai. rayban sunglasses In contrast, China’s exports were surprisingly buoyant in August amid stronger global demand. They jumped 9.4 percent from a year earlier to beat a forecast rise of 8 percent, although the growth rate slowed from 14.5 percent in July. new balance ni??os The import numbers used for the study rely on gross flows rather than looking at where value is added in geographical terms. ray ban glasses Google’s decision to pay such a rich price for AdMob is bound to trigger more acquisitions and investments in the mobile ad niche, predicted eMarketer analyst Noah Elkin. Other emerging mobile ad networks include JumpTap, Millennial, Mojiva, Mobclix and Quattro Wireless.

    Many politicians are considering visiting the shrine to score political points. However, they are in fact playing with fire and harming their nation. Yasukuni visits risk further antagonizing countries including China, South Korea and poisoning the sentiments among the public of these countries. nike shox branco Global uncertainties are bad for Chinas exports, while investments in China may also be held back. The countrys stock and bond markets have also been buffeted by the global unease over Washingtons debt problems. コーチ ショルダーバッグ But the consortium led by CRCC was the only bidder that managed to offer a proposal by the October 15 deadline and that had passed all technological and legal examinations. air max 90 baratas Visitors can have a virtual visit around the country at a section named Island Chorus. The victim was rushed to Huadong Hospital, where doctors said they performed surgery on his forehead wound.

    http://www.businessadvantagepng.com/papua-new-guihttp://www.tircolea.ro/?p=354&cpage=1#commenthttp://khanom.de/gaestebuch/#comment-15931 http://analgesi.co/perde-oltre-100-kg-con-il-bypahttp://www.fr.freelancer.com/

  7. Merlin Rataj

    you’re in point of fact a excellent webmaster. The website loading pace is incredible. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you’ve performed a wonderful task on this subject!

  8. Ashley Breashears

    You made some decent points there. I did a search on the subject and found most people will consent with your site.

  9. Brady Hrcka

    I do accept as true with all the ideas you have presented for your post. They are really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are very short for newbies. May you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  10. Teragon Labs HCG

    Therefore, a medication overdose causing temporal arteritis is feasible.

    Anavar-Oxandrolone is also used for gaining muscle strength, mass and size

    by both women and men as same as the Trenbolone steroid.

    Athletics need more quantity of proteins and vitamins in comparison to a normal person.

  11. Cheyenne Brindza

    Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal web site.

  12. Julissa Montori

    Very interesting topic, thank you for putting up.

  13. Tanner Hefferman

    you are truly a excellent webmaster. The web site loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterwork. you have done a excellent task on this topic!

  14. Jeromy Rochholz

    You made some nice points there. I did a search on the topic and found most guys will go along with with your site.

  15. Nicolas

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little research on this.

    And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to

    talk about this subject here on your site.

  16. Nicolas

    An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who was conducting a little research on this.

    And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him…

    lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to

    talk about this subject here on your site.

  17. Clint

    What’s up to every , since I am in fact eager of reading this website’s post to be updated regularly.

    It includes fastidious data.

  18. Cherrie Villalba

    I reckon something really special in this site.

  19. Sindy Witz

    Merely wanna admit that this is handy , Thanks for taking your time to write this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>