Jeruslam, city of the world. I can honestly say that I have never seen, nor experienced anything like this. In all of 5 minutes you are bombarded and confronted with every social, religious and political tension known to this world. As I walked the streets the sites gave evidence to the multiple countries who have laid claim to this land. You will see flags on hospitals, hospices and museums from France, the Netherlands to Russia. It is incredible. In one broad stroke, your eye could capture 10 different cultures all in one passing. The streets are filled with many dialects and plenty of “foreign” languages. This is truly the city of the world. Those who think peace means giving this city back are deeply decieved. It is the most complex situation and runs much deeper than I could have imagined. The city represents so much, how could one owner ever be declared? The best bet “we” have is that whoever is ruling at the time, that they have the altruistic descency to allow the rest of the global community to partake in everything holy dear to this city.

So today as we toured the city it was unbelievable to be able to see the Wailing wall and right behind it see the dome of the rock towering over it. I will certainly have to show the pictures. FUNNY STORY! So as we were walking around the old city Jerusalem wall, we heard a smashing sound. When in jerusalem, it instantly will make you think. Nothing serious though. Then we saw an orange smash to the building next to us. Remember we are 50 feet up in the air. Then another orange screams by and splats beside us. We all duck and use the protection of the wall to avoid being hit. As I corner the rock and look over my shoulder, down below I see a group of young boys hurling oranges at us. We quickly ran below for cover. It was ingenious, and yes, I have it on video. Be patient and just wait to see it.

Probably the greatest moment of culture shock for me was when we visited the garden tomb, where Jesus was crucified and buried, Golgotha. As we walked through the gardens below, there was a church service going on, because it was the sabbath (saturday). As we heard the singers singing to God, in the distant your ears could easily identify the loud calling to prayer for Muslims from the local mosque. Both forms of worship blasted me as I tried to discern between them. It was so distracting and unusual to hear both so subtely and with such normality for those in the city.

My experience here in just one day has lived up to everything I expected. I believe everyone should visit this place, just to take in the spiritual noise and experience the political quaqmaire. It is an experience for the ages.

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