Monthly Archives: May 2009

Waiting for pictures

I’ve returned to Jerusalem after 14 very intense days with some awesome homeschooling families from Minnesota and Texas. Our travels around the country were amazing. I am waiting for pictures from the group to give an account of our time together.

The picture at the top of this post is a sunrise taken from the hilltop fortress of Masada, looking across the Dead Sea at the Mountains of Moab (in the country of Jordan).

Care to join me on the next trip?

The khamsin

Since I’ve been in Jerusalem, the weather has been cold and cloudy. Not the hot sun and dry heat I’ve been looking forward to (and have come to expect in Israel).

Two days ago I took this picture from the balcony of the apartment here in Jerusalem. You could see all the way to the Mountains of Moab in Jordan. This morning, what is known in the Middle East as the khamsin (also called the sharav) paid us a visit. The Khamsin is a scorchingly hot, dry desert wind which blows across Israel all the way from the Arabian Desert. I took this picture at the same time of day from the same balcony. We closed all the doors and windows tight and, still, the fine, yellow-brown dust seeped into the apartment, covering everything, including my computer. The temperature today was 85 degrees. Tomorrow it drops 20 degrees and stays cool all next week.

Tomorrow I wash clothes and pack for the upcoming 2-week tour beginning Wednesday. So, I will probably not be blogging for a couple of weeks.

So far it’s either been too cold or too dusty to get out much. Only one day so far. I hope to go downtown tomorrow if the dust settles. I’ve become pretty good at Sudoku.

See you all in a couple of weeks. Shalom…

First Sabbath

Arrived at Scott & Theresa’s apt late Wed night and spent Fri chilling out and catching up on sleep. “Chilling out” is the operative phrase. It’s cold here!

Friday Theresa cooked most of the day and the soldiers (plus others) gathered for the Sabbath meal (about 15 of us). Scott cooked his famous chicken wangs (these guys are from east Tennessee) and we waited to eat until some of the more orthodox Jewish soldiers returned from synagogue.

We all ate until I could hardly get upstairs to bed. Everyone else stayed up and played games, some until after 3AM.

Today (Sat) is Shabbat, so I wasn’t awakened by the usual sound of diesel buses roaring up the hill. Instead, it was the crows cawing at one another. Today was a little warmer. Nothing moves on Saturday except Arab and non-religious Jews in their cars, so it’s very quiet.

I took a walk up the hill and photographed some of the spring flowers: 1 2. I particularly like this picture of the desert south of Jerusalem where it blooms for about 2 weeks/year.

I walked up to Abraham’s Overlook. You can see the Temple Mount in the distance although it’s a cloudy day. Use your imagination to take away everything man-made and you will see what Abraham saw when he first arrived at the place where I stood to take this picture: A low hill called “Mt. Moriah” where God told him to sacrifice Isaac (on the spot where the golden dome now stands).

From the balcony of Scott and Theresa’s apt, I could look east and see all the way to the Mountains of Moab. These mountains can only be seen from here a few days/year. Don’t know why they can be seen today as overcast as it is. They are on the eastern side of the Jordan River in the country of Jordan, so you can see how close I live to the Jordanian border.

Several soldiers stayed the night and we are all spending a very lazy day eating, reading and being on our computers.