Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Deployment to the Sinai: Jerusalem

While in the Army in 1992 stationed in the Sinai I got to travel a lot in Israel.  During my 9 months in Egypt on the Sinai Peninsula, I travel to Israel a half a dozen times.   The longest trip was a 10-day holy land trip where we visited all of the major biblical sites.   Spending 4 days in Jerusalem, Then going to the Dead Sea, Bethlehem, and the Sea of Galilee, just to name a few sites.  One of the highlights of the trip was a walk to Israeli National Museum where the Dead Sea scrolls are kept.

When in Jerusalem there was and still are actually multiple sites that promote the rising of Christ. There is much controversy over where it actually happened.   We went to the most popular tourist spot that has the cave and looks a lot like the picture everyone has in their mind. There is, even more, controversy about the actual crucifixion site. 

In the bigger picture, the Christian sites are a side show compared to the Jewish and Muslim sites and how they drive the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Take the Wailing Wall supposedly part of the foundation of King David's destroyed temple. On the other side of the wall is the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque one on the most sacred sites in the Islamic faith where supposedly Mohamed ascended into heaven.    Understand this sits in the footprint of the old King David Temple the most sacred site in the Jewish faith.   Who many extremist in the Jewish faith believe that the Messiah will not return until this temple is rebuilt. Of course, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque must be destroyed before this can happen.   

Jerusalem is the most militarized city in the world; soldiers everywhere, checkpoints to the different Quarters.  While there you could feel the tension in the air while passing from one-quarter to the next.  Of course, God is everywhere this is a given regardless of what you believe, but where the three major human interpretations fail him is in their lack of respect for our fellow man’s humanity and the differing flawed human interpretations. Which above all else teaches us to love our fellow man without the consideration of flawed interpretations or what some people call religion. 


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