A few days ago we went on a tour of Jerusalem. We started our tour by getting lunch at the Shuk. I was surprised at the amount of Latin American food there. A few people found some amazing rugelach. I couldn’t eat it, but I hear it was delicious.
After the shuk we went to King David’s tomb, where King David may, or may not be buried. Our hilarious tour guide explained the geography of Israel using Elliot’s body. If you put the map of Israel on a human body, Jerusalem is the same location as the heart, just like how Jerusalem is the heart of Israel.
Its so crazy to think that not too long ago Jews couldn’t visit a large part of Jerusalem, including the Kotel. We visited a rooftop where Jews would come to gaze at the Western Wall, and cry because they could not go there. We tried to remain as apolitical as possible on our tour, which is pretty much impossible to do in Jerusalem.
My favorite part of the tour was when we went to the Kotel. I have been to the Kotel many times, but this time an IDF (Israeli Defense Force) combat units swearing in ceremony was happening. The Kotel is usually pretty crowded, but it was nothing compared to the massive crowd watching the ceremony. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but it was still really moving to watch these soldiers “graduate” from boot-camp after going through weeks of grueling training. The parents of the soldiers, and the onlookers were all so proud. They played the national anthem Hatikvah at the end and everyone was swaying and singing along. I felt like I caught a real glimpse of Israeli society, going beyond what a tourist sees.