Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Epic of the Menorah

This last week in Jerusalem is proving to be one of the best! Sunday was one of our last free days and my friends and I decided to spend all day in the city.  There were a few places that we needed to get to for one last assignment, but for the most part we were just playing in Jerusalem.  We began the day with a stop at the Dome of the Rock.  This is one of my favorite places in the city! Each time that I have gone there has been just amazing.  Ramadan started this past week so the Dome had more visitors than usual.  We sat on the side of the Dome for about half an hour and just watched everyone.  It was so great!
From the Dome of the Rock we ran some errands at our favorite shop and then headed to Mount Zion.  At Mount Zion we visited the tomb of David, the Upper Room, and the Dormition Abbey.  I had been to all these places before.  Nevertheless, I feel like each time I go I get something different out of the experience.  That's what I love about Jerusalem.  I can go to the same place multiple times and continue to have amazing experiences.
After Mount Zion we ran to Hezekiah's Tunnel.  The Tunnel is one of the funnest places in the entire city! The last time I went through I was with my class, so I was super excited to go with a smaller group of friends.  We were in the tunnel for about forty minutes and I came out soaked.  Joan was behind me for most of the trip and felt the need to kick up as much water as possible.  Meanwhile, Jenny was splashing me from the front.  When we got the end of Hezekiah's Tunnel we found another tunnel that was supposed to lead us back to the top of the City of David.  A few of the guys in our group had taken it before and swore that it would lead us to the beginning.  This was the worst idea ever! The tunnel looked like it was going to cave at any moment and at one point it was full of murky water.  It seemed to go on forever.  I have never been so excited to see the light of day before :)
Our last stop of the day was Ben Yehudah Street in West Jerusalem. We decided that we would save tons of time if we cut through the Old City rather than going around.  That's when fate stepped in.  We were walking up the Cliffs of Despair (a.k.a. the biggest staircase in the Old City) when we saw a canvas in the middle of a plaza.  This man then told us that this other man would give us canvas and paint for free.  Needless to say that we had to stop.  This is how the epic of the Menorah was born.  We each painted a replica of the Temple Menorah.  As we were leaving the plaza we were trying to decide what we were going to do with our glorious paintings.  Then, one of us (me) had the brilliant idea that we should a picture with our menorahs at all of our favorite sites in the city.  We took pictures at our favorite bakery, the synagogue, the Broad wall, with Israeli soldiers, and every other imaginable site in Jerusalem.  The best picture came courtesy of the Mustard-colored pants Man.  We had seen him at several places in the City which is basically unheard of.  We had stopped in the park after dinner when we saw him again.  Joan and I decided that it was destiny that we take a picture with him. We took off sprinting at Olympic pace through the park.  We received some interesting looks from those having peaceful picnics :) We finally reached him, got our picture, and headed home.  This was definitely one of the best days ever! 
We found a time machine outside the Dome of the Rock 

Love this sign :) 

Jenny, Joansie, Me and Josh getting ready to paint! 

Me and the real menorah 

Menorahs at the Broad Wall 

Menorah at the synagogue 

Menorahs at the best bakery in Jerusalem!

Menorahs in the street 

Menorahs at the Citadel of David 

Menorahs with Israeli soldiers 

Censored menorahs 

Menorahs and the subway no one rides 

Menorahs and falafels 

Menorahs and the gang

Menorahs and cats of J-roo

Menorahs and the Man with the Mustard colored pants 

Menorahs in the park 

Menorahs on the bus

Menorahs and Jerusalem 

Menorahs at home :) 

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