Monday, January 13, 2014

Israel cont.

Day 7-

Whew....almost done....

Church of the Holy Seplucher
     The Church of the Holy Seplucher encompasses Golgatha and the tomb where Jesus was buried. It's multi-level, so we mounted 35 steep stairs to see the rocky hill where Christ was crucified. On the lower level, was the shrine over the tomb. Interesting, because I never thought the tomb and Golgatha were near in proximity. Although this spot should be the most revered in all of Jerusalem, it was hard to get in that mindset with throngs of people pushing their way around. Moreover, the ornate decoration, kinda stole the ambiance of the sorrow and joy associated with Christ's death and resurrection. I suppose it didn't help that Alex almost got in a scrap.
     We waited in line for 2 hours to enter the tomb. While we were waiting Nasser instructed us not to be so 'American' and hold our place in line even if it meant blocking others from pushing passed us. He specifically told Alex to fill a certain hole as he needed to run an errand. Within 5 minutes of Nasser leaving a group of 8 Grecians started to press in on us, claiming they needed the rest room. Alex said, " can go around the other way or go 2 at a time like our group." They began getting really pushy. Just as Alex started to step aside, I suddenly stumbled forward and would have fell had the crowd not been so tight. The guy that shoved me yells, "Why are you pushing?" Flabbergasted, I reply, "Hey you just pushed......" AND instantly Alex had this dude's shirt clenched in his fist, noses inches apart, "Don't touch my wife.............." and some other rather unpleasant words. Luckily, Father arrived in a flash. Father Guido, "Peace....peace....peace brothers.....please....peace be in your hearts." Anyway......a throw down never happened, thank God. Oh....but I felt like such a princess.....even if it was in the Church of the Holy Seplucher!

High Priest's House

     After Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane the guards would have escorted Him to the High Priest's house, near the top of Mount Zion for questioning.

This is the dungeon that was uncovered under neath the house. Most likely Jesus would have been kept here over night, before He was taken to Pilot.

The road leading to the High Priest's house. 

Church of the Nativity

     The Church of the Nativity was similar to the Holy Seplucher. We waited in line and the cave of Christ's birth has been so decorated that it hardly seemed like His humble birth place. 

Descending the stairs to the cave.

The spot in the cave venerated as the place of Christ's birth.

Oh.....and my new earrings! I bought jewelry.....Alex bought a pipe!