Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Holy Land Trip Overview
Julie and I returned on Sunday from a wonderful 15 day excursion to Israel, Palestine, and (depending on who you ask) Syria. While many in our group were very spiritually fulfilled, I was also academically juiced because I teach about Geopolitics and defensive urbanism which are so deeply embedded in this landscape.
We began touring through Galilee, and the first photo is of Julie and I on a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Fortunately, this area has not been over developed so it is a place where one could really imagine Jesus carrying out his ministry. Behind us is the North Coast where the Beatitudes were taught and where Simon Peter lived and worked.
We then traveled south toward the Dead Sea. I am pictured floating with my legs crossed. The Dead Sea itself was a bit of a disappointment because the water is full of numerous dissolved solids like Aluminum, Potassium, and Barium so the water was heavy and soapy. The highlight of this portion of the trip was hiking to Cave #1 in Quemran where the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls was found. We left the kibbutz at 5:45 AM to make the 45 minute climb before it became too hot.
Lastly, we spent five days in Jerusalem. The photo is of us standing on the Mt. of Olives with the Dome of the Rock (gold dome) in the background. The Dome sits on what is believed to be the site Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac. Our accommodations were in the Old City and we were able to walk so many of the places that Jesus would have been. The most poignant were the 14 "Stations of the Cross" which wind their way through the Islamic Quarter to the Christian Quarter and end at the Church of the Holy Sepulchure which is believed to sit on top of Golgotha. While the story is sad, fortunately the ending was great because as Christians-- we celebrate the Resurrection!
More details will come in the following days, but we wanted to get this posted soon.