Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Israel Pictures - Part 2

Our trip continues...

We took a bus from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The bus ride itself was uneventful but I must say that getting on the bus was quite a challenge. As the bus pulled up a whole crowd of people rushed toward the door. (PHD had warned us about this, but no amount of warning could have properly prepared us for this.) I held tight onto LO so as not to lose her in the crowd. PHD was pushing his way towards the door and we tried to stay as close as possible. For LO this must have been frightening as I looked down at her and could see that she was smashed in the crowd. She cried out, "Abba, Abba!" And what happened then is what I imagine it was like when Moses parted the Red Sea. The area around her mysteriously opened up and everyone let us pass so that we could join PHD as he was getting on the bus.

We visited the Kotel every day that we were in Jerusalem except one. LO loved praying there and she loved giving tzedakah to the ladies that were sitting alongside the wall. She was also thrilled the moment one of those ladies tied a red string around her arm. I explained that these red string were supposed to have come from Kever Rachel. From that moment on, she decided that Kever Rachel was somewhere we needed to visit. (We didn't make it this trip but I have some offers to take us on our next trip!)

As for me, I have always viewed the Kotel as a holy place and wondered how I would feel when I finally saw it in person. I was surprised to find that I was not overly moved when we arrived. But a bigger surprise was in store for me. We walked up to the wall to pray and when I put my hand on the wall and started to pray I was overcome with so much emotion that I started to cry. There is no way to describe that feeling nor do I think I can ever forget that feeling. It was absolutely an amazing experience.

PHD was not so lucky though. Just as he started to pray, several men tapped him on the shoulder asking for tzedakah. It reached a point where he was actually unable to daven. I would have never believed this had I not witnessed it with my own eyes. Religious men not allowing others to have their own personal time with Hashem. Shame on them.

This picture is for Z and Chiab. Somewhere in this picture is the note that I placed in the wall with prayers for you both.

Our visit happen to coincide with French President Nicholas Sarkozy's visit. The rental car agency we rented a car from was outside the King David Hotel. Little did we know that the day we went to pick up the car that they would close the road until he left the hotel.

As we were headed to Masada, LO and I were THRILLED to see actual live camels on the side of the road. Of course I needed a picture of her with one. We hopped out of the car into the BLAZING heat and headed towards one. It made a weird noise and this is how LO reacted.

This is LO as we started our tour of Masada. She looks quite happy to be there doesn't she?

This is LO towards the end of our tour of Masada. Need I say more?

From Masada we headed to the Dead Sea. I can't tell you how many times I made PHD stop the car so I could take pictures. So breathtaking.

We're Miami girls and we are used to the cool Atlantic ocean. Imagine our surprise when we put our feet in the Dead Sea and felt that hot, oily feeling water.

On the way back from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem, this is what we ran in to. The road was closed. We were told it was because some people had snuck in from Jordan. We had to take a VERY LONG detour back to where we came from and up through the Zohar Valley which made us none too happy but...

had we not detoured, we would not have seen this beautiful view.

The detour took us through the West Bank and we got our first glimpse of the separation barriers.

Next up...a visit with one of our favorite bloggers and his family.


Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said...

Beautiful pictures. Are we going to get any with you in them?

Right now we are hoping to get to Israel in 2010 (my parents already made reservations for all of us at Disney World in the summer of 2009... oy), but I'm glad to be getting a peek through your eyes and camera lens. Looking forward to hearing about your visit with the Bogners.

Another meshugannah mommy said...

I cried when I went to the Wall for the first time, too. I was only sixteen - and it was so emotionally overwhelming for me. You just brought it all back for me!

I love reading this travelogue! Keep posting...

Z said...

Thank you thank you :) And thank you for the virtual trip as well!!!

orieyenta said...

JDMD - Hmmm...that's the problem with always being the one who takes the pictures. I'll have to try to dig up a few for my next installment of pictures. Disney World in summer - oy...that will be as hot as Masada I bet!

AMM - It's amazing isn't it?

Z - You are so welcome :)