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Today in Jerusalem we started at the museum with a 1:50 scale model of the city as it was in the first century. It is quite impressive.


Then we went into the display of the Dead Sea scrolls. No pictures allowed there. It is amazing to see such old and fragile things so well preserved.

Then we went to Yad Vashem, the holocaust memorial. It is a very comprehensive historical review of what happened. All Israeli youth doing their military service are required to visit so there were many young soldiers as well as hordes of other visitors. The most moving part was a pavilion dedicated to the memory of the 1.5 million children who died. It is a dark hall lit only by a few candles which are reflected over and over in mirrors. You hold a handrail and follow a path through in complete silence while a voice reads the names, ages and homes of the children. There are also dozens or hundreds of trees planted in memory of righteous individuals who hid ad helped Jews escape.

Then we went to Bethlehem which is under Palestinian authority. We had to leave our Israeli guide behind and an Arab Christian named Issa (Jesus) took over. We passed through the concrete wall and immediately the poverty was obvious. But also some touches of humour like the Walled-Off Hotel. The Church of the Nativity is not too large but there was a one hour line up to get to see the birthplace of Jesus for ten seconds.


Posted by JimShirl 11:06 Archived in Israel

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