Trip Start Jan 08, 2008
33Trip End Mar 18, 2008
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This is our 4th Friday in Jerusalem - which means our 4th. Sabbath. The Sabbath is from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Businesses begin to shut down about 3:00 on Friday and reopen about 6:00 on Saturday. It is a good idea to have a day of rest when a good part of that day is spent sleeping. At the end of Sabbath the shops and restaurants open up and you can go out. A number of Jewish families go to a hotel to eat on Friday evenings. After 6:00 on Friday and all day Saturday it is very quiet on the streets. We did not realize how used we were to the stores being open all the time until we found ourselves in a place where they actually close for a day.
In the first century the Romans and Greeks made fun of the Jews for taking a day to do nothing. Some Roman writers claimed they were lazy and so they took a day off from work
Last Friday we walked around the outside of the Old City walls. It is about a 2 miles to go completely around. We noticed on that day that most of the gates into the city were closed off by the police force and Israeli soldiers. We discovered later that the shop keepers in the Moslem Quarter had shut down for the day in sympathy with the Palestinians in Gaza who are suffering because of lack of food. I guess the authorities were worried that the demonstrating might lead to something bigger. It did not and the Old City was open up later in the day. It was a sacrifice to give up a days business, but the shop keepers felt strongly enough about the suffering of others to, in a small way, join them in their suffering.
Another thought before we leave this day is regarding the Temple Mount
Michael & Jolene