Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

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In the beginning…in 1948, with the help of the government of Great Britain and a Zionist movement the state of Israel came into being.  The history of happenings  is important to remember, however this is about the experiences of the writer in Israel and the west Bank.

I joined a group of people on a pilgrimage to the holy land around early-mid September. The first two days were spent around the sea of Galilee which appeared like the coastal San Diego region. The next day, we went to Jerusalem, where we spent five nights and four days. On the first day, we drove down to Bethlehem where we took a tour of Bethlehem University. There was actually a student from Palestine in the west bank and we said  he looked like an Israeli.  This did not go over too well.  Our spiritual director, Fr. Juan Torres immediately apologized for the mistake.  It was creepy going into Bethlehem since it was completely walled off and separated from the rest of Israel.  There were two types of ID cards issued: blue ones and green ones. About all of the Palestinians received a green card which permitted less travel.  Palestinians could still get a blue one, but travel was still restricted.  Two days from the end of the pilgrimage, the River Jordan was visited; after visiting the Jordan, the pilgrims visited The Dead Sea. On the final day, we visited old town Jerusalem and said the Stations Of The Cross. After they were finished, we proceeded to the Western Wall where I inserted some prayer requests.  

Written in English and Hebrew for some Jewish friends here in Houston.

Submitted by Jacob Klementich