Monday, November 06, 2006

 

Some Highlights From The Past Three Days

From Mac, Scottsdale, AZ:

As I mentioned in a previous entry, we spend most of Sunday touring Masada, Qumran, and a very quick trip to Jericho. We ended our day back in Jerusalem meeting with the group Rabbis For Human Rights. Their Executive Director, Rabbi Arik W. Ascherman spoke to us. 'Rabbis For Human Rights is an organization of Israeli rabbis from every Jewish denomination devoted to the furtherance of Human Rights and strengthening of Israeli society in the knowledge that all human beings are created in the image of God.' One of their efforts (among many with Isralis and Palestinians) is called 'The Olive Tree Campaign.' To quote their September 2006 report: 'Rabbis For Human Right's Olive Tree Campaign now works with over 30 Palestinian villages whose ability to harvest, plow, plant, and perform other vital tasks related to their agricultural livelihoods is denied or limited because of settler violence, army restrictions and/or the Seperation Barrier.'

Monday was packed with meetings: We began our day at Bethlehem Bible College with The Reverend Alex Awad, Dean of Students at the college. Rev. Awad's family is very involved with peace work and the promotion of non-violence. He shared that Bethlehem Bible College was founded because so many Palestinian Christians who wanted to study the Bible in greater depth had to go outside the country to do so. Rev.Awad then went through his perspective of the history of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. He had excellent maps of the changes in Israel-Palestine since 1880 to the present. We got copies of these maps on CD to bring home. They will be very helpful in communicating our experience.

Late Monday afternoon we visited the SOS Children's Village in Bethleham. SOS is an orphanage and was established in 1966, opening its gates for the first child in 1969. Presently there are over 100 children in SOS Village between the ages of 1 to 14. The SOS Village consists of 12 houses with 8 to 10 children residing in each house. Our group delivered art supplies to the village and went into one of the group homes. The children were a shining light in the midst of the conflict that overshadows much of life in Bethleham.

On Tuesday we went to Hebron and we were guided through the city by Chritian Peacemaking Team volunteers. One volunteer was Jerry Levin, a former CNN journalist, who now works with CPT full time. We visited Mosque at the center of Hebron where the tombs of Abraham, Sarah, Issac, and Jacobreside.

I'm running out of time, we have to catch our morning bus so I'll continue with this later....Peace, Shalom, Salaam...

Comments:
Thanks Mac for chronicling the trip so far. And Clarke's photos make me feel as though I am there with you. The expressions on your faces tell much about your journey -- I see fatigue and wonder, joy and intensity... You are all in my prayers; we hear news stories of ongoing violence in the region, and I hope you are neither near it nor frightened by it. Be blessed as this pilgrimage continues.
 
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