and my trip was great. What an amazing place to see the roots of our faith. The old city in all quarters are quite intresting. To see Golan Heightsd and Masada and to be where Jesus was, it was an amazing experience. To go on sabbath to the western wall and pray with all of these people at once is also a very very powerful experience.
no, they wouldn't let me in the dome of the rock because the police said they couldnt protect me in there so to me it was "closed".
tell me what you would like to know about, and I will fill you in on the details of my trip. I drank some beers, smoked nagila(sp?), met a lot of really awesome israelis, some cool arab christians, a bunch of really intresting hadisdic guys, kids studying at yeshiva from brooklyn were common. one of the things I found most intresting about jerusalem is that its a city steeped deeply in religion, yet most of its inhabitants seem to be very secular from what I could tell and talking to various people.
My favorite part of the trip was driving up to golan heights and seeing the beautiful country. I have come home and really have to question som ethings about my life and my relationship with the Lord. This has brought a lot of perspective into my life, maybe even a bit of anger, but I am confident this will work out to be a very important journey for me. It was an immensly spiritual experience for me, but not in the way I would have expected.
Did you risk visiting the West Bank?
I hope you climbed Massada an hour or so before sunrise, otherwise...
I took a bus from the central bus station in jerusalem to masada, it was about a 2.5 hour ride. We did not plan to climb it in the morning, because we thought we could make it back on time. Well since we took the bus and the park closes at 3, we could only stay at the hostile until the morning so we could climb it before sunrise. Man, thats a killer hike up, I took the cable car down.
We went through the west bank on the bus, and I got a good view of some bedouin tents and jericho, but thats about it. Most of the Israelis cautioned us to stay out of the west bank areas.
I have always wanted to go to the Golan.
I have heard it's an incredibly beautiful landscape, with plenty of wildlife.
Did you meet any normal, non-crazy Muslims?
And was the Dome closed to you because you looked white/Jewish (yeah, I know there are all sorts of things wrong with that comment, but I mean from the POV of people who might try something), or is it just unsafe for everyone (or every westerner at least)?
I met a bunch of normal non crazy nice muslims, although I did have kids shooting at me with toy guns and following me around the old city, and whenever I would turn around they would go "shalom" and laugh at me.
The dome was certainly not closed to everyone, because people walked in before me and after me, yet they were all obviously muslims. I think if you were a muslim westerner, you probably would not have problems, and if I made a stink and said I was one I probably could have gotten in, but I didnt want to press my luck with a foriegn police officer either.
You "COULD" go in. The question is, what will happen when you come out?
what sorts of thinks of caused you to question the lord? what in your trip cause a blip in your faith?
good for you.....glad to hear everything went well....
nice to have you back
Hey that's awesome Josh! Post pics man.
Nagila is a water pipe they put tobacco in. I guess the tobacco must be mixed with fruits or something because there are like 50 flavors of it and its not really very strong tobacco. If your at a pub, many times they have them if you ask for it.
MS hit the nail on the head....I dont want to press my luck and find out what happens when I come out of there.
What about my trip caused me to question the lord. Well I guess the easy way to say it would be that I had certain expectations in my head that weren't met, and when they weren't as I expected them, I became frustrated, and found myself questioning God, as its somethign Ive seen in my life as sort of a pattern, then I found myself seeing it as a pattern and wondering what I must be doing to see the pattern over and over again. I dont really want to elaborate more than that presently.
I'd love to see Masada.
I understand that one can still make out the remains of the Roman lines of bicircumvallation, as well as the ramp that was used for the siege tower--pretty wild stuff.
TFS- pray you run up the ramp and not snake path. Last I checked only elite paratroopers make it up the snake path.
I am also great at making up the snake path...
missed you bro, glad you are back, and had a profound time.
Awesome! Welcome back.
Joshua, if you want me to host some pics from your trip just email me