Hannah and Je together

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twenty first day – Sweet Weekend

In the morning we get up as early as 4am.  From that time until the sunrise is the best time of the day.  It has cool breeze and no burning sun.  I think ancient Israelites as well as all the ancient near easterns must have gotten up very early for the same reason.  Because it is too hot during the day.

Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

I think that is why in Biblical Hebrew they have separate word of “to get up early.”

Today was kind of shitty day because all the members of area T were sent to other areas such as V and W, and consequently we were not able to do our own job.  Even they did not give us break.  We talked each other that we feel like in exile.  But I found a sling stone of my fist size in area W.

For Hebrew University (Tel Lachish), the bus leaves Friday morning and comes back Sunday morning.  For Tel Aviv University (Tel Megiddo), the bus leaves Thursday afternoon and comes back Saturday afternoon.  So officially it is the weekend from today afternoon.

Hand Washing Laundry

Hand Washing Laundry

Not having the afternoon work and lectures, I did my laundry by hand-washing.  Unlike Kedma Youth Village, we were allowed to stay in this kibbutz for the weekend for free, but they do not provide any meal.  So I walked twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store, and spent 120 NIS (which is about $40) for six meals.  I bought a quarter gallon orange juice.  But when I poured it into the cup, it flowed so slow as if it is honey.  And the taste was so strong.  Then I looked at the label which I cannot read because it is all Hebrew.  There were only two English writings.  One is big letter saying, “Orange Juice.”  The other is very small letter under the nutrition information, “Enough for 60 cups.”  Then I realised that I bought the concentrated juice.

Last night, several people sat together and talked.  There were American Jew (man), Israeli Jew (secular, woman), another Israeli Jew (secular, man), and Belgian woman (Catholic).  Of course I was there too.  I asked them many questions and it was really great talk until late night.

One of the interesting things was that the Jews these days do not know what tribe they belong to.  And officially ten tribes are missing.  But they said that some Jews have “Cohen” (meaning Priest) and “Levi” (Name of the tribe which performed many jobs in the temple) as their last name.  And many of them regulate themselves including cannot enter any cemetery, cannot remarry.  And also they must marry Jewish woman, but not converted Jew.  They can marry only the pure or native Jew.  They do this to keep themselves ritually clean all the time, so that they can carry the job of priest and temple worker as soon as the Temple is rebuilt and Messiah comes.

They had many jokes about why Judaism never works.  The secular Jews also said that Orthodox, especially Ultra Orthodox Jews hate them.

For the temple matter, I asked of religious Jews, and they want to build the temple but they are afraid to express it.  And I also asked yesterday of the secular Jews, and they absolutely do NOT want to build it.  Because of all the murders and blood which will be done by the name of that house.  They also said that the rebuilding the temple would cause the third world war.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Nineteenth Day – Skeletons

Not much things are happening these days.  Nothing interesting objects were found.

Breakfast at Armageddon

Breakfast at Armageddon

We eat lunch at Kibutz, but for breakfast, they deliver to the digging site.  Again, the food was better at Kedma Youth Village than here.

Pirates of Armageddon

Pirates of Armageddon

Though we did not find anything interesting in our area, which is T, they found human skeletons at area K.

It is believed to be the burial ground.  I took some photos of the skeletons, but was told not to post on facebook. I said, “No facebook, no problem.  But I do blog.”  Then I was told again not to post anywhere online.  So I cannot post it online but I can show them in person whoever wants to see them.  At the area K, they raised the pirate flags.

During the lecture, especially the late one, many people drops their pens because they fell asleep while listening.  It is really sleepy at 10pm after the hard labour from 4am.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Sixteenth Day – Frank Yamada

Dr. Frank Yamada, the president of McCormick Theological Seminary, is also in Jerusalem, Israel.  With a few email exchange, we arranged the meeting.

A Park

A Park

Last night, we finalised the meeting at his hotel lobby 1:45.  But I had to check out at 11am, I went to his hotel earlier than the appointed time.  While I was waiting at the hotel lobby, I found that they have free Wi-Fi.  When I connected the internet, I found an email from Frank that he wanted to meet somewhere else.  So I suggested the Focaccia Bar where I went yesterday.  Actually there were not many choices at all because of Shabbat.  The picture above is a park on the way from the hotel to Focaccia.

With Dr. Frank Yamada, the president of McCormick Theological Seminary

With Dr. Frank Yamada, the president of McCormick Theological Seminary

Finally I met him around 2pm.  We had nice lunch and good talk.  A little after 3pm, I departed my way to get the sherut.  The google search told me some place which was updated 2012.  When I went to information booth today, they told me different place which is way further.  But when I hit the Kikkar Zion, a guy shouted, “Tel Aviv?”  He was a sherut driver.  Usually sherut departs whenever it is filled, and I was the last one, so the sherut departed right away.

Payphone does not like coins

Payphone does not like coins

I went to Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, and went to the bus station where we are supposed to meet by special taxi.  In Israel, there are two types of taxis.  Shared Taxi or sherut, and Special Taxi, which is just taxi in America.  At the bus station, I waited until 4:55 but nobody was there.  Being worried, I wanted to make a phone call by the payphone.  And I found that the payphone need phone card.  Then a lady next to me borrowed her cellphone.  After the phone call, I found that everybody was behind the information booth.

On the bus

On the bus

Unlike the Lachish excavation, we used big bus and drove a lot.

Givat Haviva

Givat Haviva

The camp’s name is Givat Haviva.  It has cons and pros.  It has strong Wi-Fi and TV set is installed in every room.  But it has no laundry machine, and the food is no better than Kedma.

The dig begins again from tomorrow.  I need to sleep soon.

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