The Last Bit in Israel

The last field day was my third sick day in Israel. On one hand, I’m sad to have missed the last day. On the other, my body could not be willed out of bed. I spent the day sleeping, reading The Eye of the World, talking with my sister, and sleeping some more. There was a brief respite from sleep when I could hear demonstrations passing through the Jaffa Gate. I later found out this was the anniversary of the first day of the Six Day War. Had I more energy, I would have gone out to see who it was and why they were marching on the city.

The next day brought on the final exam of the Israel course. We were given a review of the Tel Aviv airport so we can get back to the States as easily as possible. Afterward, graduation time! Dr. Phillips gave us our certificates that proved our completion of the course one at a time. One of the Canadian pastors of the group gave us little pins of the Canadian flag as a good-bye present. The rest of the day was filled with jovial activities, lovely conversation, delicious food (courtesy of the Gloria Hotel), followed by a rousing game of spoons on the terrace of the hotel.

Saturday was filled with Jordan prep (aka laundry) and more rest. A few of us went into the Old City for some shopping. I assumed the role of personal shopping assistant as we went through shop after shop in the Christian Quarter.

The rest of the nigh was filled with last minute hugs and story-swapping with the folks that would not be joining us for the leg in Jordan…which was all but seven of us. Of course there were some more games to be played on the terrace—spoons and backgammon galore!

Unfortunately, Sunday greeted us with an early farewell from our friends heading back to North America. We all finished packing for Jordan and hung out over at JUC for a bit. After lunch, a few of us made our way to Shorashim Shop in the Jewish Quarter.

This shop is a unique fixture in the corner of the Jewish Square. Two brothers from Canada who happened to be Othodox Jews opened up this shop over twenty years ago to learn about commerce and small business in Israel; however, the mission of the shop quickly shifted to be a safe space for dialogue. The brothers welcome any questions about Judaism that you could have. One of the brothers showed us the “JUC Shuffle”–looking around at the painting for about five minutes but not really that interested until they muster up the courage to ask the shop owners the question that brought them there. Even though we were only there for about an hour, I learned how much I have yet to learn about Jews. We discussed the distribution of space to each gender along the Western Wall to how Jews and Christians look at Atonement Theory differently. The main thing I walked away with is that I don’t even have a basic understanding of what Jews belief let alone what they are looking for in a Messiah. I’m glad I’m taking Dr. Wilson’s Modern Jewish Culture class in the Fall!

Since it was our last night in Israel before Jordan, some that had not left for home yet had dinner with us at the Gloria. I’m going to miss Jerusalem!

 

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