Hannah and Je together

Monday, 29 August 2016

India Trip Day 03 – St. Thomas Mount Shrine

I slept like a dead man, and woke up around 4am IST (India Standard Time).  Breakfast was good, and there were three cats outside the cafeteria, they are so cute.

완전 죽은 듯이 잤던 것 같다.  그리고 IST (인도 표준시)로 새벽 4시에 일어났다.  아침밥은 맛있었고, 고양이 세 마리가 식당 밖에 있었는데 정말 귀여웠다.

According to the schedule, we were supposed to have a lecture by the author of the book “History of Indian Christianity” and then visiting St. Thomas Mount Shrine.  But the professor was a bit late, then we decided to switch the schedule.

일정에 의하면 “인도 기독교의 역사” 책의 저자에게서 강연을 듣고나서 성 토마스 마운트 슈라인을 방문하는 거였는데, 저자인 교수님이 늦도록 나타나지 않아서 일정을 바꿨다.

2.St Thomas Mount Shrine10

The shrine was very close to the centre where we were staying, and we just walked up.  Outside the building, it says, “My Lord My God” which is the famous confession of Thomas.  That might be my next research project.

이 성지는 숙소에서 매우 가까워서 그냥 걸어갈 수 있었다.  건물 외부에는 “나의 주 나의 하나님”이라는 토마스의 유명한 고백이 적혀 있었다.  아마 내 다음 조사 프로젝트가 되지 않을까 싶다.

2.St Thomas Mount Shrine28

And inside the building, it says “Senhora da Expectacao” which means in Portuguese “Lady the Hope.”  It can be literally translated as “Expecting Lady” and I guess we avoid that because it might sound like a pregnant woman.  We met Dr. Arthurs JayaKumar at the shrine.  Outside the building, there is a huge statue and we were told that only one Camera is permitted per group, and if we want to use more cameras, then we need to pay 10 Rupees.

건물 안쪽에는 포르투갈어로 “Senhora da Expectacao”라는 말이 써 있는데, 소망의 마님(성모를 가리킴)이란 뜻이다.  영어로 번역할 때는 Expecting Lady라고 직역할 수도 있는데, 아마도 임산부라고 오해될 수 있어서 이런 번역은 피하는 듯 하다 (영어에서 expecting은 기대하는, 소망하는 뜻이지만, 여성에게 쓰이면 출산을 기다린다는 뜻이 되어 임산부로도 쓰인다).  아써 자야쿠말 박사님을 이 성지에서 만났다.  건물 밖에는 거대한 조상이 있는데, 관리인이 오더니 사진기는 그룹당 한대만 허용되며, 사진기를 더 쓰고 싶다면 대당 10루피씩을 내라고 했다.

2.St Thomas Mount Shrine40.jpg

There was a nativity scene down the hill, and there were two Santas as well.

언덕 아래에는 성탄절 관련된 조각상들이 있었고, 산타도 둘이나 서 있었다.

3.Rev Dr Arthurs3

After the shrine visit, we gathered again at the centre and had a lecture by the book of the author we are reading. The lecture was mostly from the book but still very interesting. After having lunch, we were told to gather again at 12:30 but actually people gathered at 1pm. People say IST is not India Standard Time but India Stretchable Time, and I guess our group became Indian being in India.

성지를 방문한 뒤에는 센터에 다시 모여서 우리가 읽는 책의 저자에게서 강연을 들었다.  강연 내용 자체는 대부분 책에 있는 것이지만 여전히 흥미로왔다.  점심을 먹은 뒤에 12시 반에 모이라고 했는데, 사람들이 실제로 1시가 넘어서 모였다.  여기 사람들이 IST가 인도 표준시가 아니라 인도 고무줄 시간 (India Stretchable Time)이라고 하는데, 우리 그룹 사람들이 인도에 오더니 인도 사람이 되어버린 듯 하다.

4.Chennai Streets18.jpg

After lunch, we went to DakshnaChitra, a museum for South Indian Arts. The long bus ride was very interesting, seeing the poverty—people living in small tents under the bridges. And there were a lot of cows on the streets, evening blocking the traffic. They said that they would hit a man but not a cow. Holy Cow!

점심 뒤에, 남부인도 예술 박물관인 닥슈나치트라에 갔다.  버스를 한참 타고 가면서 여러가지 흥미로운 것을 봤는데, 다리 아래 사는 사람들을 비롯해서 가난이 만연해 있었다.  거리에는 소들이 꽤 많았고, 심지어 교통을 막고 누워있기도 했다.  현지인들이 말하길 운전하다가 사람은 쳐도 소는 치면 안된다고 한다.  홀리 카우!

4.Chennai Streets27.jpg

Almost to the museum, I saw an ambulance and it says “Call 108 for Emergency: Medican, Police and Fire.” Later I asked Rev. Dr. Daniel who just got Ph.D here why the number is 108. He said he does not know but the public service numbers begin with 10, so maybe just the sequence. The number is very interesting to me, because 108 is not easy to press in comparison to 911 in Canada and US, and 999 in UK. Then it must be easy to remember. The Buddhism identifies 108 different kinds of suffering in the whole universe, and I guess that might be the reason.

박물관에 거의 다 가서 구급차를 봤는데 “응급번호 108: 의료, 소방, 경찰”이라고 적혀있었다.  첸나이에서 최근에 박사학위를 받은 다니엘 목사님에게 왜 응급번호가 108인지 물어보니 잘 모르겠다고 하면서 공공 서비스 전화번호는 10으로 시작하기 때문에 (한국은 11로 시작한다, 119, 112 등) 그냥 순서에 따라 그렇게 된 것이 아닐까라고 대답했다.  이 번호가 상당히 내겐 흥미로운데, 캐나다와 미국의 911이나 영국의 999와 비교해서 108번은 누르기가 크게 쉬운 번호가 아닌데, 그렇다면 반드시 외우기  쉬운 번호여야만 할 것이다.  불교에서는 백팔번뇌라고 해서 우주의 모든 고통을 108가지 종류로 분류를 하는데, 혹시 그 때문이 아닐까 싶다.

5.DakshnaChitra25

The museum was very interesting. But I didn’t get the exotic feeling. The Hindi statues and paintings are quite similar to those of Buddhism (even those in Korea). And one huge statue was very interesting—human head, cow’s body, and huge wing. It is actually too similar the Assyrian statue in the North-Western corner of Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago. Were there influences to each other?

박물관은 꽤 흥미로왔다.  하지만 아주 이국적인 느낌을 받지는 못했다.  힌두의 조각들과 그림들은 내가 한국에서 보던 불교의 것들과 꽤 비슷했다.  그런데 꽤 큰 목상 하나가 정말 흥미로왔다.  인간의 머리에 소의 몸, 그리고 큰 날개가 있었다.  시카고 대학교의 오리엔탈 박물관에 가면 북서쪽 코너에 서 있는 앗시리아의 석상과 매우 닮았기 때문이다.  인도와 메소포타미아 지역이 서로 영향을 주고 받았을까?

5.DakshnaChitra37.jpg

And there was a performance—dance. The dance was done by the African Indians. Their ancestors came to India long long time ago. The dance moves were definitely African flavour, and the singing was mixture of African and Indian style. After the performance, I asked what language were they singing, and they said there was singing in four different Indian languages including Goa and Kanada.

그 후에 퍼포먼스가 있었는데, 춤이었다.  인도에 사는 흑인들이 전통 춤을 췄는데, 그들의 조상들이 아주 오래 전에 아프리카에서 인도에 왔다고 한다.  춤 자체는 확실히 아프리카 풍이었는데, 노래는 아프리카와 인도의 것이 적절히 섞여 있었다.  퍼포먼스가 끝나고 노랫말이 어떤 언어인지 (아프리카 언어인지) 물었는데, 고아와 카나다를 비롯해서 네 가지의 인도 언어라고 했다.

5.DakshnaChitra59

A lady showed us how to draw this beautiful pattern.  They use the rice powder.

여기 계신 분이 이런 예쁜 모양을 만드는 걸 보여줬는데, 쌀가루를 사용한다고 한다.

We went to a fancy restaurant after the museum. Chicken Lollipop was interesting in the menu. Is it a candy with chicken flavour? And ordered couple different dishes, and one of them was Mutton Kola, looks and tastes like a falafel. Jessica came to our table and asked what that is, and I answered it is Kola and she just laughed it off haha. And then she asked it again, this time Tisha answered. Then she believed.

박물관 관림이 끝나고 나서 꽤 고급 식당에 갔는데 메뉴에 치킨 눈깔사탕이 있었다.  이게 닭고기 맛 사탕인가 궁금해서 시켜봤다.  그리고 몇 가지 다른 요리를 시켰는데, 그 중에 하나가 이름이 머튼 콜라였다.  생긴 것도 맛도 팔라펠하고 비슷했다.  옆 테이블의 제시카가 오더니 뭐냐고 물어봐서 콜라라고 대답을 해줬다.  하하 웃더니 진지한 표정으로 다시 물어봤다.  그래서 티샤가 콜라라고 대답을 하니 그제사 믿는다. 쳇.

After the dinner, women all went to shopping. It was not their choice or an option. They had to go and buy some specific clothings to go to Church on Sunday. But men are OK. So I decided not to go shopping. So I came to the centre and fell asleep immediately.

저녁 후에는 우리 그룹의 모든 여자는 반드시 무조건 쇼핑을 가야만 했다.  왜냐면 여자들은 주일날 교회 들어가려면 특별한 옷을 입어야 했기 때문이다.  하지만 남자들은 아무 서양식 복장을 해도 괜찮기 때문에 쇼핑을 안가도 되었다.  그래서 나는 돈도 없고 해서 쇼핑을 안 갔고, 센터에 돌아와서 바로 잠이 들었다.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

India Trip Day 01

Filed under: Lang:English,Subj:Travel — Jemyoung Leigh @ 17:58
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I went to India as J-term at McCormick Theological Seminary.  It was joint course with LSTC, and history professor Dr. Peter V. at LSTC prepared a lot for this trip mostly because he is from India.

It is my second Travel Seminar.  The first one was two years ago to Holy Land.  At first trip, school did not require us to see a doctor, but this time school asked us to visit Travel clinic, and I did.  At U of C Travel clinic, I’ve got two shots and three different pills including Malaria.  I was also told never to drink water in India except the bottled ones, and to make sure the bottles are sealed properly.

This trip troubled me even before the departure.  My citizenship interview was scheduled to January 6th, and the flight is January 5th.  And my last ordination exam was scheduled on January 21st, and the flight back is January 22nd.  Oh well…  And unlike the Holy Land travel, I did not get the flight information until the day before departure.

1.Chicago Airport

We flew by Etihad.  According to Huffington Post, it is one of the 20 safest airlines.  Etihad is UAE airlines and the meaning is Union (according to the flight attendants).

2.Etihad2

One thing which is very interesting but not really useful was the Cameras.  All the passengers can watch outside through the Landscape and Forward Cameras.  But during the flight all you can see is just clouds, and traditional map view is most helpful.

4.Abu Dhabi8

We stopped and transferred at Abu Dhabi.  It is Arab, and I thought it is impressive that they have a camel at Lego store.  And I cannot tell exactly but the Arabic accent is slightly different from Palestinian dialect.

Friday, 2 October 2015

May God let you do the same to your children

Since the summer of last year (2014), I began a research about Old Testament for a specific words.  I had brand new idea and wanted to prove it.  When I told Ted Hiebert, the OT professor and the dean of the faculty at McCormick Theological Seminary, and Paula Hiebert, the Hebrew language professor, they told me they’ve never heard about that idea.  That means there are super big chance for my idea to be wrong.  But they said it is quite interesting idea and encouraged me to dig deeper by guiding me how to do further research on this.  They even lent me their books.

Since then, I was reading many books related to this, and have not found anything meaningful.  Then I talked to Steed Davison, the new McCormick faculty of OT.  He also said he’s never heard about this idea.  Well, the chance for my idea to be right went down even more.

Then couple months later, I had a chance to talk to Frank Yamada, the president of McCormick and also (used to be) OT professor.  He also said “never heard.”  Now I became kind of hopeless.  But even though all of them said “never heard” in one voice, they did not forget to encourage me.

When I talked about this with my academic advisor, Bob Cathey, he gave me a contact information, YS Kim, McCormick graduate and a professor at another school.  So I emailed him introducing myself and that Bob Cathey recommended him.

Kim replied to my email but it was very extremely rude, and the attitude was 180 degree opposite from other McCormick (or American) professors.  He said he has nothing to say about such unclear and imaginative non-sense.  And he discouraged me for further contact with other words.

I was quite shocked because I did not expect that rude reaction.  Bob told me initially that YS is very kind and polite.  Maybe he is, probably only to those who are higher and/or more powerful than he is.  Why is he so proud?  Because he came to America from Korea and became a professor (in other word, achieved very high social location)?  Koreans say that Korean culture is shaped by Confucianism.  But if you read the Confucianism sacred texts carefully, Korean culture is not what Confucius imagined for.

I wish he does the same thing to his children what he did me — kill the imagination and hope.

Well, if I comment one thing, I finally found a proof about what he said “such imaginative non-sense.”

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Friday, 25 July 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Twenty Second Day – Beit Shearim

I had no plan for today.  But in the morning Bill from Austin, Texas came to me and asked if I am interested in day trip.  I asked him where he was going.

Bill: Capernaum.
Je: I’ve alreay been there.  Not interested.
Bill: And the church of bread and fish.
Je: What is that?
Bill: blah blah blah…
Je: Oh, Tabgha!  I’ve alreay been there.  Not interested.
Bill: And Caesarea.
Je: I’ve alreay been there.  Not interested.
Bill: And Beit Shearim.
Je: Where?

So I decided to join his group.  There was another man from Germany, a retired pastor.  So we three went out for day trip.

Cave of the Coffins, Beit Shearim

Cave of the Coffins, Beit Shearim

Beit Shearim was very interesting.  It is in the city of Kiryat Tivon, and has so many tombs and caves.  The famous one is the Cave of Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi, and since then many Jews came here to be buried from various places.  The above one is the Cave of the Coffins.  It is huge inside.  Tons of stone coffins with beautiful inscriptions and decorations.  The cave itself is like a city with so many chambers and hallways.

Above the cave, which is more than thousand years old grave, I found an used condom with its package nearby.  It is so gross having sex on the grave.  What is wrong with people living here?

Jesus Boat

Jesus Boat

Then we went to the Museum of Jesus Boat.  This is not the actual boat, but the replica.  They found this boat underneath the bottom of Sea of Galilee, and found that it is about 2,000 years old.  McCormick group came here last January.

Tabgha

Tabgha

Then we went to Tabgha.  The bottom mosaic is very famous with four loaves and two fish.  The reason of four loaves instead of five is that Jesus is holding on loaf in his hand for blessing.  McCormick group also came here last January.

St. Peter's House, Capernaum

St. Peter’s House, Capernaum

Then we went to Capernaum.  This is the St. Peter’s house near the synagogue.  McCormick group also came here last January.

Bahai Gardens, Haifa

Bahai Gardens, Haifa

Then we went to Haifa.  The picture above is the Bahai Garden at German Colony in Haifa.  We ate dinner in the German Colony and the food was not great.

Mediterranean beach, Haifa

Mediterranean beach, Haifa

Then we went to a Beach in Haifa – The mediterranean beach.  The water is salty.

Caesarea in the dusk

Caesarea in the dusk

Then we went to Caesarea at the dusk.  And as you may know, the Shabbat begins at the Friday evening.  I expected nobody, but the parking lot was full and all the streets are full of parked cars.  Double parking?  Are you kidding?  Everywhere is already triple parked.  Well, because the restaurants are open until 1am, everybody came here because this is the only (kind of) place to eat out.  I also saw many Muslims waiting for the complete sunset so that they can eat.  McCormick group of course came here last January.

So called Penis Man

So called Penis Man

I found an art which I did not see last January.  And when I found it, it was surrounded by girls aged around seven to ten.  The girls were grabbing, rubbing, and touching the penis of the statue, and their mothers were taking picture of that.  Well, great.  Early education, we need that.

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.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Israel Trip Fifteenth Day: Megiddo, Anunciation Church, NETS

Today we kind of loose day. We went to Megiddo. Megiddo’s archaeological excavation was done by Oriental Institute of Chicago University, and their job and results are displayed at Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago.

Mountain near Nazareth

Mountain near Nazareth

On the way to Megiddo, we went through a tunnel under the mountain which the ancient Nazarenes tried to push Jesus down off the cliff. According to our George, traditional Jewish execution is: to bind the hands in the back, throw him/her from the cliff head down, and pile the stone over the body.

Outer Solomon City Gate

Outer Solomon City Gate

This is the outer gate constructed by Solomon. There is another inner gate by Solomon. Two major builder of this city is Solomon and Ahab.

Canaanite Gate

Canaanite Gate

This is the older gate made by Canaanites.

Sacred Area

Sacred Area

This is the ancient sacred place, and the round platform is at least thousand years older than Solomon.

Grain Storage

Grain Storage

This is the grain storage with two stairs; one for going down, the other for coming up. It used to be covered to protect the grains from rain, dust and so on.

Water System

Water System

Then we went down to the water system tunnel. The city of Megiddo had same problem as Jerusalem – the water source is out of the city wall. So they dug the underground passage to the water source.

Megiddo has been the key point since the human history, because it is the bridge between Egypt and Mesopotamia. Without crossing here, they cannot go to the other side. Megiddo comes out a lot in the Bible, and Armageddon in the Revelation is Greek transliteration of Hebrew word Har-Megiddo which means the mountain of Megiddo.

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Basilica Annunciation Upper Level

Our next destination was Basilica of Annunciation. There are so many churches of Annunciation, but this is the biggest one built over the crusader church which was built over the Byzantine church. The church is all about A and M shape which is the initial of “Ave Maria.”

Art from Japan

Art from Japan

The church has two level, and there are lots of arts from all over the world are on display on the upper level. This one is from Japan and the writing at the bottom says Flower / Of / Holy / Mother / Son, and we can say Beautiful Holy Mother and the Son.

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary

Then some of the McCormick group went to Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, and others enjoyed the first and last free time. The president of NETS is Arab Israeli Christian. We heard many things, but I am glad that there is Christian seminary in Nazareth. As Arab/Palestinian Christian seminary, they have so many things to do. I hope we can build good relationship between NETS and McCormick.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Israel Trip Eleventh Day: Ramallah, Shechem, and Samaria

Today we moved from Bethlehem to Nazareth.

Israel Checkpoint

Israel Checkpoint

We had to go through the checkpoint because we were going out into Palestinian area. These checkpoints are horrible. But the worst is yet to come. We went to Ramallah to meet Mrs. Jean Zaru. Ramallah is founded by Christians, and still Christians are dominant. And it is rule that the mayor must be Christians from the old days. Ramallah also has many industrial and commercial businesses. Ramallah also works as the de facto capital of Palestine. It is not one of the tourist attraction, so people there gave us very curious eyes. Ram means high place and Allah is God. So Ramallah is Divine Heights.

Jean Zaru

Jean Zaru

Mrs. Jean Zaru is a Quaker. She is very active for the human rights of Palestinians, and also for the Palestinian women. In that way, she is kind of unique. People we met so far work for the general Palestinian, none for the specifically women. But as we all know, women tend to be weaker in many ways including physically and sexually. Consequently if women are exposed to same level of violence as men, they are way more vulnerable. And that is way we need to protect and help them more. Some people believe providing numerically same thing is fair, but I do not. Providing different things so that everybody can live equally is fair and that is my social justice. I would like to write about it later.

Land of Gibeon

Land of Gibeon

When we passed by on the bus, our local guide George identified us many different places. This one is land of Gibeon. It comes in Joshua 9. The people here deceived Joshua as if they were from the land of far far away.

Bethel

Bethel

This is Bethel. Bethel means house of God, and the story comes in Genesis when Jacob fled from his brother, he slept here and saw a ladder or stairway reaching to the heaven and the angels up and down.

Shiloh

Shiloh

This is Shiloh where Samuel stayed and ordained two first kings; Saul and David. And most importantly this is where the ark of covenant stayed. Shiloh means ‘his’ in Hebrew, and was dedicated place to God.

Mount Blessing and Cursing

Mount Blessing and Cursing

This is two mountains of Blessing (on the left) and Cursing (on the right) which Joshua summoned and arrayed people there and asked them to choose which God they would serve. This is in the land of Shechem. Ancient or Biblical Shechem is now called Nablus. Romans built this city at A.D. 70 after they conquered Jerusalem and named it Neopolice, new city. And the name became Nablus.

Jacobs Well Church

Jacobs Well Church

In the place where the Jacob’s well is, there is a Greek Orthodox Church and is so beautiful.

Jacob's Well

Jacob’s Well

Under the Church, we found the Jacob’s well. And just in case you may not know, the photo-shooting is forbidden. And again, our McCormick group got special permit again. I think God is really with us. I drew some water myself and tasted. It was good and I was amazed the well is functioning well even after 4,000 years of time. As you may know this is the well that Jesus met a Samaritan woman and talked.

Joseph's Tomb

Joseph’s Tomb

Then we went to Joseph’s tomb. There is no archaeological evidence on this as usual for holy places. But it is said by tradition. And the tomb itself is covered with nice stone, and nobody knows what is in there. The stone is supposedly built by Muslims because its direction is toward Mecca.

Town Kids

Town Kids in Samaria

Then we drove to Samaria, the capital city of Northern Kingdom of Israel. The original capital was another place, but the famous evil king Omri moved the capital to Samaria, and Ahab also reigned here. Our group had lunch there but I skipped the lunch and walked around the village. And I sat there and thought watching the mountains around: Some place are identified and marked as holy, and some not. Why and what makes the difference? The holy rock does not made up of some holy molecule. I think that is holy because someone did some holy action. We people makes some place holy or evil. Our action and our deed is most important thing.

Roman Basilica

Roman Basilica

Herod the great built a roman city in Samaria and named it sebaste – August in Greek. This is roman style Basilica where people gathers and do some business.

Theatre built by Herod

Theatre built by Herod

This is theatre. And there is ancient horse racing track built again by Herod (not in this photo). The track is now just a flat field.

John the Baptist Church

John the Baptist Church

By tradition, it is believed that John the Baptist’s head is buried here, and crusaders built a Church for him.

Palace of Omri and Ahab

Palace of Omri and Ahab

This is part of the Palace where the evil kings of Omri and Ahab lived.

View from the Samaria Top

View from the Samaria Top

We went to the top of Samaria so that we can have some nice view. According to a boy from the village, we can even see the Mediterranean sea on clear days. In biblical times, all and every important place is always the highest point in the whole area.

August Temple

August Temple

This is the August temple which Herod built to flatter August, the roman emperor. August is a god, and a son of god (which is Caesar).

Where Jesus met ten lepers

Where Jesus met ten lepers

After the Samaria, we moved to Nazareth. And at some point, our local guide said that we are running on the same road where Jesus met ten lepers.

Traffic Jam caused by Israeli checkpoint

Traffic Jam caused by Israeli checkpoint

Until now we were in the West Bank, and Nazareth is in Israeli land. And there is a checkpoint (we may say it border). And it was horrible experience waiting and stuck in the traffic. And when we got there finally, three soldiers with machine guns came up on the bus. They asked our local guide and Ted many questions in separate place. And they also checked everybody’s passport with actual face. They were not that kind, but I believe it was their maximum kindness. They would act way more horribly to Palestinians. I am glad that I experienced this at least once and I cannot imagine the lives of Palestinians who go through this everyday and even twice a day.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Israel Trip Ninth Day: Hebron

Today was kind of lecture day. We had three speakers in a day: one from religious Jewish, one from Christian group, and another from Muslim Imam.

View of Bethlehem from the Hotel

View of Bethlehem from the Hotel

When I’ve got up in the morning, I went out to the balcony and took this picture – the Bethlehem from the hotel.

Machbelah Cave(?)

Machbelah Cave(?)

And we went to Machbelah in Hebron. Machbelah is the burial cave originally Abraham bought for his wife Sarah. All the most important three generations of Patriarchs with their wives are buried here (by tradition). The only exception is Rachael as you know from the Bible.

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Machbelah of Herodian and after era

This tomb building is built by Herod. Even though Herod is cruel and did many bad things, there are so many things he left. The stone are recognised by its distinctive frame pattern. The upper part is built by Mamluk.

Machbelah Mosque

Machbelah Mosque

This site is fourth most holy place for Muslims, and before Israeli government came, it was of course Muslim’s. When Israeli army came, they divided it into two sections; one for Muslim, and the other for Jewish. This is muslim side mosque.

Machbelah Mosque Ceiling

Machbelah Mosque Ceiling

Just like other mosques, this one is so beautiful too. About the division, Abraham and Sarah are shared by both sides. They both can see it only though the caged windows. Muslims have Isaac and his wife Rebecca. Jews have Jacob and his wife Leah. Jews got what really matters to them because Jacob is the top common ancestor and is exclusive to them. But for the Muslims, Isaac is not the most important person, but Ishmael.

Prayer towards Mecca

Prayer towards Mecca

As I already wrote in previous posting, you will know where is the direction towards mecca in any mosque.

Sarah's tomb

Sarah’s tomb

When you go into the muslim side of the Machbelah, the very first you would see is Sarah.

Rebecca’s tomb

Rebecca’s tomb

Then inside the mosque, you can see the Rebecca next.

Isaac's tomb

Isaac’s tomb

Isaac is by Rebecca but little bit further.

Abraham's tomb

Abraham’s tomb

If you turn around, then you can see the Abraham.

In front of the Machbelah

In front of the Machbelah

We came out of the muslim side, and some of us went into the Jewish section. We must have gone without our local guide because even though he is Christian, the Israeli soldiers did not let him through. It is very stupid. They know he is law-abiding good citizen and just a tour guide. As you can see in the picture, Hebron and around the Machbelah area is very tensed and so many soldiers and military vehicles are always circling around.

Leah's tomb

Leah’s tomb

In the Jewish section, there is partition and writing “Women” in hebrew. The closer side which is right is Abraham and Sarah. The farther side which is the room on the left is their grandson. When you stepped into the room, Leah is on the right, and Jacob is on the left.

Jacob's tomb

Jacob’s tomb

There is no English signs at all either muslim or Jewish side. In the muslim section, local guide read us the Arabic. In the Jewish side, I was able to recognise the Hebrew names.

Christian Peacemaker Team

Christian Peacemaker Team

Then we went to the Christian Peacemaker Team whose office is in old town Hebron. They have a lot of difficulties working for the persecuted Palestinians, and even one of them were killed. But they still standing on their ground and working, sacrificing for others.

View of Hebron

View of Hebron

This is the Hebron view from the Christian Peacemaker Team office.

Kia Hebron

Kia Hebron

In Bethlehem, I saw Hyundai. And in Hebron, I saw Kia – another Korean auto maker.

Glass Factory

Glass Factory

Then we went to famous Glass Factory. Two were working on each side of the furnace. They presented us great show while they were making glass vases. It is amazing and when they do it, it looks so simple.

Horse as transportation

Horse as transportation

Do you see the horse? It is not for tourists, nor fun. They use it as mean of transportation. I’ve seen some people use horse or donkey as mean of transportation only in Palestinian area. What does this mean?

Tourist Police Bike

Tourist Police Bike

Downtown Hebron is crazy place with tons of cars, buses, trucks and horses too. I’ve never known that there is such thing like Tourist Police. But the officer came to us and guided the bus, sometimes stopping other traffic. How nice to us, the tourists.

Sheep neck

Sheep neck

We went to a very nice restaurant in Hebron whose name is ‘Hebron Restaurant.’ I ordered sheep neck. It was not bad, but ao tender and mild. The meat just melted as soon as my tongue touched it. Speaking of tongue, I ate beef tongue for dinner.

Jewish Settler Speaking

Jewish Settler Speaking

Then we went to nearby synagogue and listened to a religious Jewish settler in Hebron. He said many things, but I guess it was not that impressive to McCormick group. One of the things he said is that Israeli government built hospitals, schools for Palestinians and many of them are thankful for that. When he said that, I was confused if he is Japanese speaking to Koreans under Japanese occupation.

Imam Maher Assaf

Imam Maher Assaf

At the evening, we invited Imam Maher Assaf. Imam is a title for Muslim religious leader. Our local guide sitting next to him translated Arabic into English. He is liberal muslim, and most of the muslim does not think like him. But he is quite interesting figure to me.

Palestine Traditional Drink

Palestine Traditional Drink

At the evening session, our local guide George was with us and he introduced us Palestinian traditional (very strong alcoholic) drink. I forgot the name, but we mixed it with water and put some ice. Of course I did not drink it.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Israel Trip Sixth Day: Mount Olive, City of David, Gethsemane, Shepherds Field and Home Demolition

Today we went to Mount Olive first time.

View from Mount Olive

View from Mount Olive

In the picture above, you can recognise the dome, and probably the temple wall. In front of the temple wall, you can see the Kidron Valley, and on the left side, you can see that famous Hinnom Valley.

Another View from Mount Olive

Another View from Mount Olive

This is a nice view with the Golden Dome from the Mount Olive. Jesus probably saw the similar things, except the Golden Dome and the houses in the north and west. He saw and wept. I was awed at this sight. Living in Seoul and Chicago, I am very much accustomed to the skyscrapers and giant buildings, and still awed at this. I cannot imagine how much the ancient people would have been awed at this. It is said that the Herod’s temple is the largest temple in the history (as a single platform temple). This view from Mount Olive is amazing. On the Palm Sunday, Jesus went into the city riding on a donkey. Mount Olive is on the east of Jerusalem. Shouting crowd, Palm branches, East, Sun on the back… everything indicates Messiah.

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

Gethsemane from Mount Olive

This is the Gethsemane from afar. It is very close to the city.

Necropolis, the city of the dead

Necropolis, the city of the dead

This is necropolis. In Israel’s burial custom, they put the dead body in the tomb and wait until it is totally decayed leaving bones only. Then they collect the bones and put them in a stone box with the name. In the necropolis, you can see all the bone boxes. And they put some perfume on the dead body so that it does not smell too much when the family comes to collect the bone. That is why Jesus said the lady was preparing for his funeral when she put the perfume on him.

Solomon's Wall

Solomon’s Wall

Then we went to the south side of the temple wall, just under the Al Aqsa Mosque. And this is the Solomon’s temple wall remains.

City of David

City of David

City of David was our next destination.

Royal Toilet Bowl

Royal Toilet Bowl

This is the toilet bowl from the Palace of David. It must be personal rest room for very important person, probably a king. You cannot say that David did not use it. It also has running water.

City of David, Image

City of David, Image

This is nice picture showing the City of David and the Temple in the OT times. The bottom half is the picture of modern-day at the same place. The white big thing in the middle is David’s Palace, and I can understand how and why David saw the bathing scene.

Water System

Water System

And we went to the water system, kind of secret one. They went to this passage to carry the water.

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Then we saw the Canaanite Wall next to it. David and his commanders saw this wall. And the Canaanites stood a blind man and a lame man to mock David. That means not only ancient Canaanites had crude sense of humour, but also they were so confident about their wall.

Hezekiah Wall Image

Hezekiah Wall Image

At the drawing above, the left side is Canaanite Wall. And the right is Hezekiah’s protection of the spring. And the Hezekiah’s tunnel (for water) is underground from the spring into the city.

Canaanite Tunnel

Canaanite Tunnel

David must went through this tunnel.

Hezekiah's Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Not all, but some of McCormick group went through the Hezekiah’s tunnel. It is actually water way. Hezekiah knew that the Assyrians coming, and the people inside the wall needed water, so he dug the water way so that they can get fresh water without going out of the city.

Water in the Tunnel

Water in the Tunnel

You can see the water is still flowing, and I actually tasted – surprisingly it was good.

Siloam

Siloam

At the end of the tunnel, we met the Siloam where Jesus healed the blind man.

Gethsemane Basilica

Gethsemane Basilica

Then we went to Gethsemane. It is the Basilica (or Church) of Agony.

Olive Trees

Olive Trees

Next to the Basilica, there is still a garden, and the biologists say those olive trees are more than 2,000 years old which means, Jesus must have seen them.

Jesus was arrested while he was praying here. Standing here, I realised that this Gethsemane is the middle point between the city and Judean wilderness. If he wanted, it is 100% possible for him to flee to where David fled. But he did NOT which means he meant his death and sacrifice.

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Basilica

Inside the Church is so beautiful. The ceilings, windows, front patterns, drawings… and everything.

View from Gethsemane

View from Gethsemane

This is the view of the temple mount and the golden dome from the Gethsemane. It was not zoomed. It just shows how close it is to the temple. Until now, I had no idea when I was reading the Bible without any knowledge of geography even though I read the maps. When Jesus was taken from the Gethsemane to the temple, and to the Pontius Pilate, and to Herod, it sounded to me like from Kansas city, to Chicago, and to Washington D.C. How can they travel in ONE day? But now I experienced and knew the distance and everything, it makes sense.

Mango Juice

Mango Juice

We went to Bethlehem and had lunch at Palestinian restaurant. See the bottle that it is filled up to the top. In America, the bottles always has some room in case of freezing. And here, this means that there is no chance to freeze.

Chicken Pita

Chicken Pita

This is chicken pita, and it was super delicious but pricier than that I expected – 40 NIS. I may skip the lunch tomorrow.

Shepherds' Field

Shepherds’ Field

Then we went to Shepherds’ Field where the angels came and told the shepherds about the birth of the Saviour. There are three places recognised as shepherds’ field, but this is Catholic one. This is the rock where the shepherds rested and probably saw the angels.

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Shepherds Field Church Inside

Inside the Church is quite beautiful and small. The acoustic is very good, but I think it was better at the St. Anne’s Church.

Shepherds Field Church Outside

Shepherds Field Church Outside

In the shepherds’ Field Church, anything down is shepherd and anything up is angel.

Terrace Agriculture

Terrace Agriculture

While we were moving on the bus, our local guide George explained us about the oldest way of agriculture. It was making a terrace as seen on the picture above. Here, the land is chalk. They dig the chalk in a row shape, and put good soil on it, and plant. And the chalk does not absorb the water, so the water flows down to the next terrace. Then you can just water only the top row. On the sites like this, it is easy to find some good soil, some chalk and bad soil, the rocks, some thorns. And this is perfectly fit with the parable of Jesus.

Palestinian Area

Palestinian Area

Then we met Chaska(?) from the Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions. She is very passionate and energetic Jewish woman who works and fights for the human rights of Palestinians. The photo above shows the ghetto Palestinian area without any trees. I actually drove through there, and it was so crappy, dirty, and all infrastructure was so bad, and not maintained by the government at all.

Jewish Area

Jewish Area

This is Jewish area. There are lots of trees, and high buildings. And above all, she said, Jewish area anywhere is identified by the landmark of cranes which means continuous development.

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Jewish and Palestinian Resident

Israel government builds Jewish settlement in the heart of the Palestinian area. Here the front row is Jewish apartment which is nice and does not have any black water tank. They get enough water. Far back of the photo, you can see  the small black dots which are the water tanks. Because the government does not work on the infrastructure, they have to connect the water by themselves while they pay the same amount of water bills. And mostly they connect too many on one pipe and the water pressure drops down. That is why they must install water tanks.

Separation Wall

Separation Wall

Many, actually most of the Palestine communities are separated by the giant walls and disconnected from the neighbouring community. And they don’t have the freedom to move. This is the separation wall in Jerusalem.

House Demolition Site

House Demolition Site

This is the scene of home demolition. Israel government does not allow the Palestinians new house building permit. But they have to build. And later Israeli government give them warning of demolition. And then later suddenly they come around 1-3am and destroy the house. It is total operation with the demolition team, military, and police.

In my opinion, Israel government simply want them just disappear.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Israel Trip Fifth Day: Haram, Church, Al Quds University

We went to Haram or Temple Mount where the famous golden dome is. We went through the security at Al Asbat Gate as we did for the Western Wall. The haram is the third holiest place for the Muslims, and for that all the females well prepared by covering everything except hand and face. Of course head, neck and shoulder were covered. But still some of the females were given skirts to wear.

Al Asbat Gate Security

Al Asbat Gate Security

After the security, we saw the golden dome from afar.

Golden Dome from Afar

Golden Dome from Afar

But our first destination was not the golden dome but the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Al Aqsa Mosque Outside

Al Aqsa Mosque Outside

Inside the Mosque, it was very beautiful. The carpet, the ceiling, the columns, and the stained windows … everything is so beautiful.

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As you may know, all the muslims must pray towards Mecca everyday five times. And consequently every mosque tells you which direction is to Mecca.

Praying towards Mecca

Praying towards Mecca

This guy is praying facing the direction to Mecca with his son.

Column Inside Column

Column Inside Column

Just like any other things in Jerusalem, Al Aqsa mosque also has long and complex history. Round marble columns are (relatively) recently donated by the Italian government. But the square column on the other side is very old, and there was a window on the column which shows the older (Umayan Dynasty) round column inside.

Sabeel

Sabeel

After the mosque, we walked to the golden dome or Dome of the Rock. It was very short distance, and I found a something like fountain with tabs and stone chairs around. This kind of water spring or fountain is called Sabeel in Arabic. Sabeel also means way.

Golden Dome

Golden Dome

This was taken in very close distance. As some of my friends know, my camera is very old and it does not really zoom.

Golden Dome and Je

Golden Dome and Je

Until now, it was just normal tour course which anyone does. But with God’s help, McCormick group got special permit. After 2000, non-muslims were not allowed inside the Dome of the Rock. And we were the exception. With the special permit from the Muslim Authority, we went into the dome. I’ve never seen our local guide George taking any picture, but today inside of the Dome of the Rock, he was so busy taking pictures and even video. That just shows me how special the special permit is.

Inside the Dome

Inside the Dome

It was beautiful but I think Al Aqsa mosque was more beautiful for the interior. One thing which makes the dome of the Rock so special is not the golden dome outside. The rock inside is special. It is believed that Abraham was offering his son on this rock. And Solomon’s temple was also built upon this rock. For Muslims, they believe this rock followed Mohamed on his ascension to heaven. And he sent this rock back on earth.

To THE ROCK

To THE ROCK

The picture above shows the entrance to the rock below.

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And as I wrote above, in the mosque, you can easily tell which direction is to Mecca.

Praying towards Mecca

Praying towards Mecca

When I was stepping out of the Dome, I found a strange clock on the wall.

Prayer Clock

Prayer Clock

First one is current time. Second is the date of today. The others are the prayer time of the day. I think they pray five times a day, and I have no idea why the clock shows six prayer times.

St. George Cathedral

St. George Cathedral

And then we went to St. George’s Cathedral for Sunday service. It was Anglican Church. The service was very interesting.

St. George Cathedral Inside

St. George Cathedral Inside

And then we had lunch at the Notre Dame Hotel which is directly owned and managed by the Vatican. After that we went to Al Quds University which is Palestinian school. And on the way, in the Palestinian town, I saw the tall segregation wall.

Separation Wall

Separation Wall

It looks high but actually it is one of the low walls. I heard that some of the walls are twice higher.

Abu Jihad Museum

Abu Jihad Museum

Before the University, we went to the Abu Jihad Museum next to the University. This museum is for the Palestinian prisoners who were ill-treated in Israeli prison.

Professor Moustafa Abu Sway

Professor Moustafa Abu Sway

Then we listened to Professor Moustafa Abu Sway who was born and raised in Jerusalem, and also studied in Boston, USA. Our guide George was his student too.

Palestinian Village

Palestinian Village

After his lecture and Q&A time, we headed back to the guesthouse in Jerusalem. And on the way back, I took this picture of empty houses and apartments in Palestinian area. There was huge discussion and arguments after dinner meeting. I cannot say anything about this matter now, but I will try to post about it later.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Israel Trip Third Day: Jerusalem Old City

The guesthouse is in Palestinian neighbourhood where Arabic is commonly spoken. And it is obviously noticeable for the signs too.

Signs in Arabic

Signs in Arabic

From the guest house, we walked to the Jerusalem Old City through Damascus Gate.

Damascus Gate - one of the major access to Old City Jerusalem

Damascus Gate – one of the major access to Old City Jerusalem

This gate is called in Arabic as Bab Al-Amud which means Pillar Gate. There used to be two pillars by Hadrian and people still used that name even though the pillar is not there for more than thousand years. But you can see the mark where the pillars were in the Old City right after the gate.

Pillar Mark

Pillar Mark

We walked straight to the Western Wall, namely Wailing Wall. It shows a few different era’s construction with the Herodian wall at the bottom. And we went to Western Wall Heritage Centre where we saw some of the historical and architectural information in visual way.

Temple Mount and Temple model

Temple Mount and Temple model

Herod’s temple is much more bigger than the previous ones even way bigger than that of Solomon. Because the land was not level, Herod made the south side much higher to make the temple mount level, and both corner on the south side is called Pinnacle and the horn was blown for many reasons. At the north end, Herod used the natural bed rock as part of the temple mount.

Herod's Frame

Herod’s Frame

This pattern is Herod’s distinctive frame pattern. If you see the picture below, that is just little part of the one rock. They are all huge and giant. The average weight of those stones is 5 ton.

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Huge Stone

As we all know, this glorious Herod’s temple was destroyed by Romans A.D. 70, and some of the destroyed parts are still preserved:

Destruction of the Temple by Romans

Destruction of the Temple by Romans

We were walking under the centre ramp (see the temple model above), and we came out to the open field at Herod’s time but it is still covered because the houses were built after that over those areas. And we met two pillars by Herod.

Herodian Pillar

Herodian Pillar

And on the floor of the same level with the pillar, there are stone-pavement from the same time. In other words, Jesus may walked on those stones.

Pavement from the Jesus' contemporary.

Pavement from the Jesus’ contemporary

And then we kept walking through the water channel/tunnel and to a water basin.

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This was built at Hasmonian Dynasty which means it is even before Romans came to Israel. This water tank was used for more than thousands of years. One thing is that nobody knows where the water comes from and how it collects waters.

St. Anne's Chapel

St. Anne’s Chapel

We went to St. Anne’s Chapel by the White Fathers. White fathers is the missionary group and the father in charge of this site is from Canada. More than 80% of the members are from Africa, so the white is colour of the robe not the skin. Once they tried to rename, but almost all the black members voted against it.

This chapel has amazing acoustic design.  A few of the McCormick group sang ‘Amazing Grace,’ and it echoed like a band of angels was singing together.

Birthplace of Mary

Birthplace of Mary

St. Anne’s Chapel is dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of Mary. So she is grandmother of Jesus. Catholics believe that mother Mary was born here while Anne was living.

Crusader's Chapel

Crusader’s Chapel

Next to the St. Anne’s chapel, there is huge ruin. It is the ruin of many different things – Hadrian’s pagan temple, Byzantine, Crusaders … You can see the crusader’s cross on the bottom of the pillar.

Pool of Bethesda

Pool of Bethesda

And the ruin also has a pool named Bethesda, where Jesus is believed that he healed the sick on Sabbath day.

Via Dolorosa

Via Dolorosa

Now, it is time to talk about the Via Dolorosa, the most famous Christian pilgrimage.

Church of Condemnation

Church of Condemnation

The Church of Condemnation is at the original place (as believed) where Pontius Pilate and his army stayed, namely Antonia Fortress.

Game board

Game board

On the floor, there is a mark – the play of the soldiers. According to the guide, the mark was drawn around Jesus’ contemporary.

Church of Flagellation

Church of Flagellation

It is believed that Jesus was whipped at the Church of Flagellation. And you can see the patterns of nails, whips. Above the gate, you may identify the thorns.

Ecce Homo Church

Ecce Homo Church

Ecce Homo means “Behold this man,” which Pontius Pilate said to the people. There is huge arch in and out side of the church. But the scholars believe now that the arch was built at Hadrian after Jesus.

Jesus fell first time

Jesus fell first time

Via Dolorosa identifies three locations that Jesus fell, and this is the first one.

Jesus met mother

Jesus met mother

Right next to the first falling location, this point is believed that Jesus met His mother Mary.

Simon of Cyrene

Simon of Cyrene

This place is believed that Simon of Cyrene was forced by the Roman soldiers to carry the cross of Jesus. There are a few more scenes in the Via Dolorosa such as Jesus meeting pious women. Via Dolorosa may correct but may not correct since different churches claim different spots, and different scholars says different things. We do not know any thing for sure. But what is important is not to identify historical accurate locations but to feel it and add it to our faith.

Holy Sepulchre

Holy Sepulchre

After that, we went to the Holy Sepulchre though the Coptic Church. In  the Holy Sepulchre, there was no line and our guide said it was miracle. Only two or three can fit in, and I went in with another lady, and she cried a lot over the casket. I just wonder if I had to tell her that the casket is empty and Jesus is alive.

The Holy Sepulchre is so-called the holiest place for Christians. And several different churches owns different parts of it. There are serious dispute between them, so two Muslim families open it in the morning and close it in the evening. What a shame.

Adam's Tomb

Adam’s Tomb

Some Church says that Adam is buried here. It is very important to their theology. The rock over the glasses is the rock of Calvary.

Broken Stone

Broken Stone

The rock seen over the window is Rock of Calvary. It is broken into two. Because when Jesus died, there was earthquake, and the rock was broken into two.

Calvary Rock

Calvary Rock

This is actually on the Calvary. Still you can see the huge crack. There are a few more things to see including Anointing Rock. We went out to the Jewish neighbourhood.

Manora

Manora

This giant manora is not the only one telling you that you are in Jewish quarter. So many males are wearing black hats and dressed like Jewish.

Golden Dome

Golden Dome

That golden dome, so called Dome of Rock, is the most famous thing in Jerusalem. And you can see the western wall under it. Tonight is the beginning of Sabbath, and many Jewish people came to pray here.

Western Wall

Western Wall

This is very sentimental place for all Jewish. The women are not allowed to pray with men. They have their own section. And all men must cover their head. The wall is continued inside to the left side when you face it. And there is a library with all Hebrew pray books.

Skull rock

Skull rock

Then we went to Garden Tomb. It is based on the bible (of course) with the name of Golgotha whose meaning is skull. And the rock is very similar to the skull shape (the mouth piece is hidden by the reconstruction).

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The first and third picture is the entrance of the tomb and the middle one is inside of it. For the last picture, you can see the rail for the rock to roll which covers the tomb. Some scholars think the Holy Sepulchre is where Jesus was crucified, others think Garden tomb is the place. Again, we do not know for sure. But I do know that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.

Segregation

Segregation

This is the separation of Jerusalem. One city, one Jerusalem but one side is Jewish part, the other is West Bank, the occupied land. Jerusalem means peace. When can we really have true peace in Jerusalem?

We went to Sabeel, and listened to Cedar, one of the founding member of Sabeel. It was eye opening. I want to write about it later in more detail. If I do not go to bed right now, I may die.

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