A Day Off….Sort Of.

Posted: December 9, 2006 in islam, Israel, jerusalem

Saturday is a day of rest for the Jews and so it was kind of for us as well, being that travel was shut down, so we just kind of hung arod  town. I snacked in the morning and discovered this awesome Arabic delight. It was a cheese pastry soaked in sweet syrup. It was SOOOO good. and SOOOO rich! On Zohar’s recommendation we went to a suburb of Jerusalem called En Kerem. It’s a beautiful hillside town tucked away in a green corner of a mountain. It reminded me alot of the old European towns. Beautiful, tranquil, with old euro style architecture. Apparently Mary the mother of Christ lived in this area as well and so on the hillside there lies the Church of the Annunciation, where it is said that the Angel Gabriel gave her the good news. The church is the most beautiful Marian church I have ever seen, replete with an enormous portrait of Mary on the back wall of the church. I really love Mary themed religious art. Like most Mexicans, I have a special place for her in my heart, just maybe not in the same way they do. Sundown was coming on so we thought we’d catch a movie. I was tired actually but consented to Rafa’s idea anyway.

Our cabbie was an Arab who, on the way, asked us point blank if we believed Jesus was going to come back. We said yes and the said he did too and that he hoped he could live to see the day when he returns. I asked him if he was a Christian and he said no, that he was a Muslim, and that Muslims believe that Jesus will return to bring peace as well. I think that’s something alot of people don’t know about Muslims, that they believe Christ will return too. We ended up having a nice chat with the cabbie about religion, David Copperfield, and ghosts then he left us at the cinema. Kind of funny how sometimes the lines of our perceptions and prejudices get blurred….and how you never know where you will find another believer. Which reminds me, while we were seated at breakfast at the sidewalk cafe this morning, a young Muslim man came up to us and asked if he could give us some literature. We said yes and he asked us if we knew about Islam and I replied yes, that my brother has been Muslim for over 20 years. We spoke briefly but I definitely sensed an earnest spirit and desire to see and experience God in life. It made me glad for him and I even felt a sense of brotherhood with him, even though we are not of the same race or religion. I felt the same kinship I feel when I meet anyone who is looking to grow in God. It was a positive experience.

So anyways, back to the movie. The cinema was closed because shabbat wasn’t over so Rafa ends up finding out that the mall is going to open at sundown and that they have a theater too. We catch a bus for Jerusalem Mall. This was the worst mistake of the trip.

I don’t know if it was a special day or what, but it seemed like the whole city was there. All the stores were selling off of tables in the mall aisles and it was jam packed with people. I mean JAM PACKED. And it seemed like everyone was rude, pushing and pulling. We still had like 2 hours to kill before the movies and I was dead tired so I went to sleep in the food court surrounded by hyper 14 years olds. It was a nightmare. When we finally got into the movie, the screen was slightly larger than my TV, the sound was horrible and the seats were crappy. We also didn’t know that they assigned seats so we got kicked out of our chairs. Then I slept through a terrible movie. How can a Morgan Freeman/John Cusack movie be bad? but it was. I was so happy to finally get out and back on the bus going back to my bed at the convent. On the way I called my wife and told her I loved and missed her then got to my bed and slept like the dead.  

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