Some more pics from Israel. These were taken down in the Southern portion of the country. This was given the name Wilderness of Sin/Zin depending on pronunciation. Now, this is more than likely not THE Wilderness of Zin/sin mentioned in Numbers 20 but this is an honest idea of what it would have been like. According to the Biblical text Miriam was buried in this wilderness and it was here the people rebelled against Moses and Aaron wanting water. And it was here that Moses struck the rock and for that was punished by never being allowed to enter the Land. But God did provide water for the Israelites from the rock. Even in His judgment He is merciful.
Anyway, enjoy the pics!
I thought you might enjoy pictures of Jerusalem. The first three were taken on my daily walk to school. I didn’t take too many of the inner city stuff. The last two pictures are of “our” main street where our apartment is. The very last picture shows the little opening off the main street to our small side street. Our apartment is back in the little cove that’s to the right of the truck.
Well, thanks for reading our blog. I hope you enjoyed it and learned at least a little about life in Israel. I enjoyed writing about it. It has been quite the adventure and we are sad to say goodbye. God has been so incredibly faithful. I know He doesn’t change, but I just don’t recognize His faithfulness back in the US like I did here. It has been an amazing time and we are so grateful God gave us this opportunity.
What comes next? Well, tonight we’re getting together with friends to say goodbye. Tomorrow night we leave Israel at 11pm and arrive in Mi about noonish on Sunday. After spending a couple days with family we leave next Wednesday to go to Alaska for two weeks to see my older sister’s family! So excited! We’ll get back to Mi in time for Christmas. At the end of January we are flying to Connecticut to see Bryan’s brother and family! Also, very excited about that! Other than that, who knows.
The adventure for us is continuing. We don’t know where God is taking us from here exactly. BUT, after the past three months, there is no doubt in my mind He has everything under control and will show us the next step. He is faithful, and He is good. God is awesome, my friends.
Well, again thanks for reading. God bless, and see some of you soon!
Ok, so I can’t say for sure because, Lord-willing, tomorrow Dr. Wright will let me know if I passed the final test. But, I feel really really good about it. I had to pick 4 out of 5 questions to answer. It took me about 4 hours so that wasn’t too bad. My hand is tired 🙂 Anyway, I feel good about the test. I think I’m afraid to let myself believe and feel done until I hear for sure.
I think part of me just hasn’t comprehended it either, though. What, I’ve been pushing for almost four years to get this degree?!
As a congratulations my sweet husband bought me a box of chocolates! Yes, mother, unlike you I share with my family 🙂 Bryan and I will be enjoying this treat most definitely.
So, thanks for your prayers! I definitely appreciated and felt them. I felt clear headed and knew what to write. God is incredibly faithful. I have seen it these past 3 months in amazing ways.
I’ll post probably one more time before we leave on Saturday.
It’s called a Chocolate Banana Baum and yes, it is delicious! In case you can’t tell it’s a waffle with chocolate sauce and bananas on top. There’s vanilla ice cream and whip cream on the side. Saturday night Bryan gave me a study break and took me on a date to the Waffle Crepe. This is the 3rd time we’ve been there. Each time has been enjoyable although this is the only thing we’ve ever eaten. Yes, we do split it.
As of this morning I am done with my Seminar project. I turned in the papers to Dr. Wright this morning. Praise the Lord. There were days I wasn’t sure I would be done in time. The final project I turned in was about 100 pages in length, and that doesn’t include the data base I constructed on my laptop. It has been a busy semester. Tomorrow I am going to take my final comprehensive. It is the Historical Geography exam. I basically need to know and understand the Old Testament and how it plays out on the land and the historical events and the archaeological finds that pertain to it. Sounds simple right 🙂
Thankfully, Dr. Wright said he’s only expecting us to know key players in each century so that does make things easier. Anyway, tomorrow (Tuesday) or today actually, I would ask for your prayers. I have been studying all weekend. I just need to pass this exam and I am done!
I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for praying….
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Bryan and I did. The school put together an authentic American Thanksgiving. The students and cooks did a great job. The food was delicious, the company was a lot of fun, and the desserts were plentiful. I didn’t get much homework done, but it was a holiday. They didn’t have your layered jello, Grandma, so it wasn’t a perfect Thanksgiving, but it was close.
The pictures above are of Tell Dor. There are not too many natural harbors on the coast of Israel. Only 3 I believe. And none of the three were ever really under Israelite control, except for a few times. Anyways, this is the middle one of the three, south of Mt Carmel. It juts out into the Mediterranean.
As you can tell it was raining the day we saw it. This was part of our Galilee trip. When it rains in Israel they will tell you not to bother with umbrellas because it rains sideways. It’s true. We had to walk about 10 minutes through the rain to get to this tell. One half of my pants and coat were soaked, the other half was dry. I am not exaggerating either. If I had been smart we would have gotten pictures to prove it but we didn’t.
Alas, you’ll have to content yourself with the rainbow….
One of the places that we visited up north a few weekends ago was Tell Dan. The end of Judges records most of the tribe of Dan ‘migrating’ up north. They chose a city called Laish, wiped out the inhabitants and settled in. Yep, not the best picture of a tribe to be sure. Well, these are pictures from the place it is believe they settled. There was an inscription found here that stated “to the god who is at Dan” which is quite the proof for this city to be Dan. Plus the Biblical story and the archeology finds coincide so that helps. It is a beautiful area! So much water and so much green!
The first two pictures are just of the area. The last two pictures are of the reconstructed altar and the high place they found. I think the only thing they actually found were the horns of the alter so the size is based on the horns and what they know to be actual dimensions for other altars they have found. Yes, the thing was huge.
This is believed to be, and more than likely was, the altar that Jeroboam I made. One in Dan and one at Bethel when the kingdom split in two. “These are your gods oh Israel who brought you out of Egypt.” The high place was where the sanctuary would have been, the holy spot for the god(s). If you read Kings and Chronicles, this is what Jeroboam is known for, creating these altars and causing Israel to sin.
His concern was – if his people continue to use the Temple in Jerusalem they may decide to unite with their southern brothers again, take David’s grandson as king and kill him. So, to keep that from happening he created his own “religious” place and his own priesthood. You can understand his reasoning, but what a sin. Especially since Jeroboam had been already been told by God he would be given the kingdom, at least 10 tribes worth.
The northern kingdom didn’t last very long, it was taken about 200 years later and most of its people exiled. The southern nation lasted another 150 years after that. I wonder if the northern half would have lasted a little longer if they had started out better?
Well, now that it’s coming down to the wire Bryan and I are taking the camera with us everywhere. So, we were finally able to get pictures of the Shuk. This is the open air market where you can get anything and everything from food to clothes to CD’s, to bathroom or kitchen supplies. This is the cheapest place to shop, the closest to us since it’s a 5 minute walk away, and you get the fresh stuff here. But, that also makes it incredibly busy.
The first picture is of me, looking a little frazzled, at our favorite place to buy Challah bread and our little chocolate treats. It’s a pastry shop. You can see Challach bread behind me. This place supposedly has the best Challah bread in town we were told by another customer, but I believe it because it is incredibly busy every Friday morning. This was actually a very quiet Friday in the picture.
The next picture is a small portion of one street in the Shuk. The Shuk is on a few different streets and goes for quite a ways. In case you couldn’t tell this is a place to buy fresh fish. We haven’t bought any meat here, can you guess why?
The next picture is of a ‘main’ street in the Shuk. The little ‘grocery store,’ which is just a side store, that we like to shop at for our milk, cheese, yogurt, and cereal is on this street. I’m not sure how well this street does in the winter when it’s pouring.
The last is of a side street in the Shuk. These types of shops are where we buy our fruits and veggies. Yes, mothers we wash them before we eat them. You grab the bag above the produce and fill it. Then the guy at the counter weighs it and you pay.
In the Shuk the weak get stepped on. In the beginning Bryan would get frustrated with me because I didn’t push my way forward and other people would cut in line ahead of me. I would get frustrated with myself as well. One day an older gentleman finally took pity on me after watching me timidly hang out at the back of the line. He grabbed my bag of veggies and set it on the counter to be weighed and translated into English how much I owed. I thanked him many times. I’ve gotten much better at it now.
Well, here are some more pictures from the weekend. The first is Bryan at Nimrod’s castle using the WC (bathroom). This is a real-life water closet from the 13th cent. It smelled like it had been in use for that long.
The next picture is at Tel Qedesh. It was an active Jewish community for quite awhile after the time of Jesus. Part of one wall was left standing from a pagan Temple. The rest had been knocked down. I was being a column. It’s hard to tell in the picture but I was actually standing on the base of the column.
The third picture is also from Tel Qedesh. A beautiful example of a Corinthian (I think) capital. Capitals were placed at the top of the columns to add design. I think it’s upside down too, but it’s been awhile since I studied about them so I’m not positive.
The fourth picture is of Bryan at Tel Dor. It was raining and we were trying to hide underneath a wooden structure. In Israel it doesn’t rain straight down, it rains sideways because of the wind. When we got back to the car, honestly, one side of me was drenched and the other side was barely wet, because of how the rain fell. Craziness….
Well, there’s not much else to say. Just trying to finish up and enjoy our last couple weeks here. I can’t believe how fast it has gone. I’m excited to be done soon and go home, but I’ll be sad to say goodbye. The weather has changed finally. Last week I wore capris and t’shirts. This week we’re all in jeans and sweatshirts. It happens fast.
Well, Bryan and I had a wonderful time this weekend. Everything went incredibly smoothly. Which is not always the case anytime you rent a car and travel and plan to be outdoors a lot, especially in a foreign country. But, God definitely took care of us this weekend. The weather was beautiful until today. The rain chased us home but that was fine, it didn’t ruin our plans.
We went up to the Galilee. We drove by the borders of Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. We visited a few Crusader castles, a couple of Biblical sites, and a 2nd century AD city.
The first picture is of Gan Hashlosha. You swim in the streams. Two years ago my school took us here and we swam. The water filled up to the steps then. The fish liked to nibble at your ankles but it didn’t hurt. This time we didn’t swim, we just walked around.
The second picture is of Nimrod’s fortress. It is the most impressive fortress in Israel. Muslims built it in the 13 century. It guarded an important route. The drive to get there was gorgeous and the fortress was incredible. It even had a ‘secret tunnel.’
The third picture is of another fortress. This one was originally built by the Crusaders in the 10th or 11th century. When the Muslims took it over they destroyed most of it, but it was rebuilt 500 years later. It was actually used by the Israeli’s in one of the wars.
The last picture is of a tomb in the city of Beit She’arim. Yes, it is a HUGE tomb. It was built for an important Rabbi in the 2nd cent AD. He and his sons were buried in there. They’re not there anymore because grave robbers got there before anyone else. Anyways, you can go inside the tomb and walk around. There were about 4 good-size rooms. In the picture you can see 3 arches. The middle door was to carry in the deceased. The small door to its left was made later for ‘pilgrims’ to come and do homage inside the tomb. It was made smaller so they would have to bend down and show humility.
There was a tomb cave next to this one however that is 75 meters in length and width. 135 coffins were found inside. We walked around that cave as well. It was a little strange walking around a cave of coffins, I’ll be honest. Thankfully, there were other living people in there and no deceased.
Last night Bryan and I were able to see my Grandpa and his wife Audrey. It was a nice time. They’re in Israel on a tour and were actually walking to the bus to go home right after this picture.
Bryan and I leave tomorrow (Friday) for the Galilee for three days!!!!! It’s our ‘vacation’ while we’re here. We’re renting a car, staying at a little Christian B&B on the Sea. We’re looking forward to it. Then, the final push before the end of the semester.
Now for more differences we have experienced here…..
When you walk into a mall, a coffee shop, a restaurant, anything that’s a bit bigger you have to go through a metal detector and/or get your purse checked.
Soldiers and guns everywhere. When an Israeli graduates from highschool it is expected that he or she will join the army. Girls for 2 years and guys for 3. More than 75% of the graduating class does. Not including the Orthodox, they don’t want to join and the army does not want them I’m told. The soldiers are not allowed to leave their guns unless they can put them under two different locks. Since, that’s not always possible you see a lot of guns getting carried around by people. They look like semi automatics to me but I don’t know guns. Honestly, it just becomes a part of Israel and after awhile it’s no big deal.
Women and wigs. Ok, this was started in the Eastern European nations. As a way to persecute the Jews every time a Jewish woman was getting married, on her wedding night she was raped. Horrible. So, to hide their weddings the women would shave their heads and wear wigs. I don’t know why. It became the tradition for Jewish women in that place to shave their heads for their wedding nights. Well, it has now become a symbol for some of the ultra-orthodox women. Some cover their hair in public, others shave their heads and wear wigs. And it’s obvious.
Happy Jews. I am not being racist, this is honestly what they are called. There is at least one van, but there’s likely more, that drives around playing incredibly loud fun music. The people inside dance every time the van has to come to a stop. They will even dance on the roof of the van at times. Nope, I haven’t gotten a picture of this one. I’ve only heard their music once or twice, I wasn’t able to see them.
NOTE: I passed my Hebrew Comp! Not that I was too worried. But it’s nice to finally have the official word.