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FC: Israel Trip Volume I February/March 2011

1: We had an amazing flight over and back! We were blessed with first class on the way over and it was beyond glorious! We watched one of my favorite movies, "Defiance" during dinner on the plane. For dessert, there were ice cream sundaes! So fun and so great! The seats were incredible! They went flat 100% but also could be in any tiltable position- feet up, back reclined. Completely comfortable! Very wonderful experience! PHX to EWR to TLV--- Phoenix, Newark, Tel Aviv. Security was intense in the USA, extra security at the gate with another security clearance and bag check. This area was gated off- no other passengers allowed. Coming home after the 'gift of olive oil adventure' was no problem. The security guys rolled their eyes when we asked we started taking off our shoes- not necessary. They said we don't do that here. I took off my white jacket and they kindly hurried to get me a bin as they didn't want me to put it on the belt as it may get dirty. Totally different experience. The olive oil was a bit of a scare- but all clear- it was truly olive oil from our friend Jacob the pizza man and not explosives! The first hotel we stayed at was the Mount Zion Hotel with a view of the walled city. While we were there the Prime Minister of Poland was staying as well. Lots of extra security. Here is a news post: Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited Jerusalem in February 2011 for Israeli-Polish consultations, during which cooperation agreements in defense, health, environment, water and energy, culture and other areas were signed. “I want to tell you, my friend Donald, Jewish history and Polish history will forever be connected with one another. The chapters of our past — both the triumphs and the tragedies — cannot be rewritten,” Netanyahu said at a press conference following the consultations. “But the future is up to us, and I have no doubt that both of us are committed to ensuring that our common future is one of security, of hope, of prosperity and of peace.”

2: One of our first sites, a view of the edge of the Walled City of Jerusalem. After hours of traveling we couldn't wait to go exploring, we are off on foot from our Mount Zion Hotel. | Hardly even in Jerusalem a few hours and we see Sander's infamous van half way across the world!

14: The Mahane Yehuda Market, "The Jerusalem Shuk" on Shabbos. A glorious adventure!

15: Rabbi Bill Berk was a fantastic tour guide this day. We saw things we would have never seen on our own. We had a wonderful Shabbos Dinner with Bill and Batya Friday night and Saturday lunch with an amazing fruit salad. A wonderful Shabbos in every way!

22: This was the testing of the new train in Jerusalem which was not open to passengers yet. Futuristic Jerusalem.

33: This wall is written on because they tore it down and in order to properly rebuild the wall they number it, but visually it is obviously a problem. This is the house of Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the man who reinvigorated the Hebrew language as a spoken language in Israel and the world .

34: Yes we are still in Jerusalem, interesting surprises,especially Hawaii tours! That is the American Embassy with the flag.

38: American influences in Jerusalem, yes you can stay at the YMCA.

39: The windmill was funded by the British Jewish banker and philanthropist Moses Montefiore, who devoted his life to promoting industry, education and health in the Holy Land. The project, bearing the hallmarks of nineteenth century artisan revival, aimed to promote productive enterprise in the Yishuv. Pictures of future artifacts.

41: Entering the Walled City through the Lion's Gate.

55: Below is the view of the temple mount that Abraham saw when he was on his way to Mount Moriah for the binding/sacrifice of Isaac.

69: The Western Wall Tunnel Tour This was probably our most favorite adventure on our trip. When we entered we were greeted by a group of 7-8 year-old school girls singing Psalms, in Hebrew of course. So amazingly beautiful to start our tour in such a unique way! Above is of the largest stone in the Western Wall which is called the "Master Course", the name given to a row of huge stones in the tunnels. The stones in the "Master Course" are the largest building stones ever found in Israel.The largest stone is 44.6 feet long and approximately 10.8 feet wide. It weighs 570 tons.

70: The opposite page where the ladies are facing the wall praying is where they believe the Holy of Holies location to be. A very congested and small area.

79: At the end of the Western Wall Tunnel Tour you come out in the Palestinian Quarter. We were led through Palestinian territory by an armed Israeli guard back to Western Wall.

80: Thankful to see guns after leaving the Palestinian area. You would be surprised how used to the guns you actually get, you feel safer that someone is watching and protecting you. We are very thankful for what the soldiers do to protect Israel. We needed one of these guys at Schindler's Grave, we learned. This concludes Volume I of our Great and Amazing Adventure to Israel 2011.

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