Greetings faithful followers. Shalom and Salaam. Don't worry, I have not come down with Jerusalem Syndrome (a documented psychological complex where visitors to the holy land begin to think they are a prophet). Since you last heard from me we have gotten a great mix (oxymoron?) of Christian and Jewish culture. We followed some of the Via Doloroso (wayof the cross) which follows Jesus' path as he carried the cross. It culminates at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which (rumor has it) is the holiest christian place on earth. We also got a chance to vist Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum) in Jerusalem, and had a nice dinner al fresco in the mountain town of Ein Karem. From there we went to the Western Wall once again to take a tour of the tunnels that go deep beneath the old city of Jerusalem.
This morning my boots were delivered from El Al. I feel whole again. As soon as we got the boots Jerod and I walked to the Damascus Gate of the old city where we hopped on the "Arab Bus" to Bethlehem. A bus to Bethlehem is definitely misleading because there is no open road there because it is in the famed West Bank. The road from Jerusalem ends abruptly at a massive cement wall stretching in both directions. It is garnsihed with razor wire and guard towers. We passed easily through the control point, and found some cabs waiting on the other side. We picked a driver with strong English and for a reasonable sum he took us to Mount Herodian and Shepherds Hill/Field (where the angels appeared after JC's birth). After getting a room at the inn in Bethlehem we walked to the Church of the Nativity amd the Milk Grotto (feel free to wikipedia them, because I am not an expert).
I'll spare you any stereotypical rhetoric on the "apartheid wall" and mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures. I will try to post some post some pics soon, though and let you draw your own conclusions.
Jerod is getting sleepy so I am going to lay him in a manger.
Goodnight, and god bless..