Day Five

Left Ramat Hashofet this morning for Nazareth, where we first visited the church built on top of the ruins of Mary’s house. There were many mosaics up both inside and outside the church, all donated by different countries. They all appeared to be heavily influenced by each country’s traditional artistic styles, but each one for the most part depicted white Jesus and Mary. Japan’s mosaic, though, depicted Asian Jesus and Mary, and it took me a minute to realize that that was more geographically accurate than white Jesus and Mary. How has Christianity come to such a place that the Messiah is not even depicted as he really was? What else has been changed from the real guy? I won’t get into my personal views on religion here. Another thing I thought of was the religious significance of God having made Adam from dirt, while using a woman, Mary, to create Jesus…something about Sacred Feminine concept…

After that, we toured “Nazareth village,” the colonial Williamsburg of Nazareth. It was a working grape, olive and goat farm set to mimic Jesus’s setting. Appropriate, since his childhood home was a few minutes away. In fact, the wine he drank on Shabbat was probably from that farm, as it was built on the excavated remains of an actual farm found there.

On our way to Jerusalem, where we are again tonight, we stopped at a few churches around the Sea of Galilee, such as those built around the Beatitudes spot, the loaves & fishes spot, and the Jordan River Baptism area.

It was relaxing to get a day away from much mention of the conflict, but at the same time, it’s always in the back of our heads. There were clashes here in Jerusalem in the Old City, which we’re not far from, last night, as well as in Ramallah, where we’ll be in a few days (?). Because Friday is such a big day for Muslims, and the closeness of Al Aqsa to the Western Wall, these clashes are most common on Fridays. Looks like things have calmed down and we should be fine for the rest of our trip…probably.

(Seriously though mom, we’re fine.)

cat count for yesterday: 4

today: 3

-Ari

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