Day 1

Posted: December 3, 2006 in Israel, jerusalem

I was awakened at 4:30 AM by the muezzin, the call to prayer sounding from the Al Aqsa Mosque. It bounces off the walls of the buildings and is pretty loud since the tower is so close. You can also hear calls from the surrounding mosques too., It lasts a few minutes then sounds off again about 15 minutes later, It’s a beautiful call and as I lie there in the dark listening I find myself reflecting on my own experience with God, and how ultimately we are all trying to do the same thing whether Jew, Christian or Muslim….commune with God.

I got up at 8 and got ready, then we hit the streets. The are we are in is the Muslim quarter and was filled with shops and vendors, completely unrecognizable from the previous night. Lots of movement, smells and sounds. Reminded me of Mexico. Rafa kept getting suckered into peoples shops, but he learned. We found a good restaurant called Abu Shukri and ate well. We wandered the bazaar and found the old Coptic Monastery. Coptics are Ethiopian and Egyptian Christians. Their monastery is small and they live in these tiny rooms on the roof top courtyard. After going through their chapels we came out into the courtyard entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We entered without knowing too much about it in advance other than the usual “tomb” stuff. First thing we saw was a pink marble slab underneath 8 hanging lamps and a huge golden mural on the wall of Christ being prepared after crucifixion. The slab covers the actual slab that Christ was laid on and prepared. People were praying over it, kissing it, rubbing their hands and prayer notes on it. I touched it and it left a pleasant smell on my hand, not to motion felt almost slightly electrified to touch. We then went throughout the rest of the church, seeing things like the hill of Golgotha, Christ’s tomb and much more. Parts of the church were simply amazing to see, and you could tell it was incredibly old in parts, being that it’s of combined Byzantine, Crusader and 19th century Greek origin. After leaving it was getting chilly so we went back to the convent to get sweaters, but ended up napping till about 7. I think the flight finally caught up to us. We had dinner with the Wisconsin boys and then hit an Internet café. I called Bubbles (my wife Belen) and talked for a few minutes, then called my pops and left a message. After that we decided to call it a night and headed back for tea on the rooftop.

View today’s photos

Video from the Citadel of David

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Comments
  1. Aaron Aceves says:

    Somehow I put a comment in the “about” portion of the Blog>> OOps

  2. Joe Aceves says:

    You are walking were God Himself walked. And will soon sit on the throne as Ezekiel 43:1-9 says.

    Interesting how the world today forgets this and especially about whose land it really is belongs to anyway. Ezekiel 11:14-21 & 47:13-23 does gives us a true history and the right to the land.

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