Entries by Brigitte Parenteau

Day Eight: Christmas Lutheran Church

On the Palestinian side, the wall has become a billboard, an art exhibition, an outlet for anger and frustration, and an opportunity for creative protest in humor. For many, the most moving part of what is displayed there are printed out, large posters offering details in the first person of the impact of the wall and the Israeli occupation.

Day Seven: Old City

We then headed to the Mount of Olives, to start a long walking trek of about three hours. First stop was a lookout viewpoint on the ridge above the Kidron Valley, looking across to the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls and many churches and mosques. From there we made our way to the Dominus Flevit (“The Lord Wept”) Church.

Day Six: Yad Vashem

It is always difficult to come face to face with humanity’s vast capacity to be inhuman to others. The Holocaust is as extreme as it gets, but it was not a spontaneous event. It was the result of centuries of Christian antipathy toward Jews. Although we may not feel directly complicit, there’s no doubt about the role of our Christian forebearers in the faith.

Day Five: Madaba

Madaba is best known for its mosaics, both ancient and modern. Of the former we saw the famous Madaba Map Church, St. George, a Greek Orthodox church built in the 19th century over a mosaic map dating from the 6th century. It’s the oldest existing map of the Holy Land, and is a beautiful as a work of art.

Day Four: Petra

After prayer we walked out the front door of the hotel and right across the street to enter the site known as Petra – one of the seven modern wonders of the world! It sounds overdone, but when you enter the steep, sandstone gorge and come upon the massive stone carvings, you realize Petra deserves its reputation.

Day Three: Masada

We had our morning prayer in the excavated synagogue of Masada. Kathy read Psalm 27. Look it up and imagine us on top of Masada. It was moving to hear words that probably had been read in that very room 2,000 years ago…”

Day Two: Jericho, Hebron

The day began early with a small group taking a sunrise walk through the neighborhood. Turns out we were in the cultural and governmental center of Jerusalem We walked by the construction site of the new National Library, the Knesset, the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Israel Museum, Hebrew University, and the Prime Minister’s residence.