Pics from Israel

Here’s a pic of the Temple Mount that Av took at Hebrew University:

One day, we went into the Negev, which is a desert. Those animals at the bottom of the pic are camels – this is at a Bedouin village (the next three pics are of Bedouin villages):

These are olive trees that have been genetically modified so that they don’t grow too tall for people to pick the olives without having to stand on ladders:

Here is where we started walking from our hotel to the old city:

Isn’t it beautiful? This is the garden walkway to the artists’ colony in Jerusalem:

Here are the outer walls of the old city. Once we got inside the walls, we were inundated with people selling things from their shops. I knew and had heard that this would happen, but I guess if they think you’re American or just visiting, the shopkeepers get to be…annoying of all things! At first, when we were walking along, they would say “come in here! No charge for looking!” and I would nicely say “no thank you” (while still walking) but some of them wouldn’t give up, which doesn’t work for me…I don’t think anyone may have ever explained that in American culture, that’s totally *rude* and isn’t going to get you anywhere. On the other hand, there must be people that this tactic works on, because the shops obviously stay in business. Av has been through here several, several times so he knows what to expect, and to just keep walking, but this was my first time inside the old city, so I guess I didn’t fully realize that they would be so pushy. Av says it’s best to go on Shabbat so the stores are closed and it’s a nicer experience to go through to the Kotel.

We got to the Kotel (the Wall) and Av went to the men’s side and I went to the women’s side. I prayed for a while, placed my prayer note in the wall, and just tried to take in the idea that here I was in a place of such history. I had a little tear run down my cheek, and I saw that a couple of other women there did, too. If you like, you can go to this website and type in your prayer from home, and they will place it in the wall for you.

This is the Elvis American Diner that’s on the road leading from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv:

…and this is at the King David Hotel, where Av had supper one night with some friends (I was too sick to attend but made him go!):

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