לחמם (Heat) My ice cream melted! – Israel

After a relaxing visit toRomewe prepared our bags for depart toIsrael. We met in our magic school bus. Mrs. Hamiltontold us to hold our breath and count to five. Knowing what awaited us, we were careful to follow her instructions. When I opened my eyes, I peered out the window and I could SEE a magnificent wall. I recognized it as the Western wall! I had seen the magnificent wall once before, when I had visitedIsrael.

We listened to Mrs. Hamilton explain the religious background of the country while we stood in the eccentric heat. I found it particularly hard to listen while all I could think about was a tall glass of water. I did understand thatIsraelwas important to Jewish, Muslim and Christian religions. It was the birthplace of their religions.

The Western Wall was originally a part of the second temple which had been a rebuild of Solomon’s temple. The temple had been destroyed by Babylonians during war. His temple had been a gigantic ornate building with many windows. It is legend to have had a walkway made of gold. This is not possible due to the extreme heat, hot enough to melt gold! (Believe me, I was there.) After its destruction, a second temple was rebuilt. Tragically, this temple was destroyed as well with the exception of the Western Wall by the Romans. This wall is the holiest Jewish site in the world today.

The wall is extremely tall with cracks running through. Some inserted letters or prayers into these crevices. We observed the symbolic monument with a sort of disappointment. It was not as lavish at it was made out to be. I personally felt the way that I did when I visited the grand canyon. However, we were privileged enough to get a tour of the underground tunnels. The wall extends beneath the ground level, this was only recently discovered.

Next, we followed the Via Dolorosa to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The church is the site, according to the New Testament, of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. It is a landmark for Christianity. The church was very large and lavish. It had gold detailing, initially so that the light would reflect off of the walls. When the church was first built, it was dim and electricity was not an option.

Ambra and I were focused on finding a Starbucks on the way to the museum. This lack of Starbucks was making her a little off. Without luck, we retreated to an indoor (thank goodness) museum of Judao-Christian traditions. We learned about Hebrew values and Christian ideals.

Judeo-Christian Contributions to Democracy:

Equality

The duty of individual to fight injustice and oppression (the right to over throw a corrupt government)

Individual worth

Declaration ofIndependence

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