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“We must give the ‘holiness’ back to this Land.” stressed the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Archbishop Fouad Twal.  Our visit with him was the last item on our itinerary, just hours before we flew back to Canada. His Beatitude explained that different groups want to control the Land – but they forget that ...read more
Besides the stations along the Via Dolorosa there are many holy sites to visit – areas where it is traditionally held that Christ was held in prison, where he was scourged, where he was condemned, and so on. You may have noticed during many of my blogs from the Holy Land, I have referred to ...read more
The section identified as the Via Dolorosa is in a market area in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City.  Shopkeepers are earning their day to day living selling souvenirs, sweets, and everything in between – including lingerie, and a wide variety of T-shirts such as the Toronto Maple Leafs (with a Hebrew passage) and ...read more
As moving as the visit to Yad Vashem was for me, I was deeply disappointed to see the widely reported text that condemns Pope Pius XII.  The controversial display slams Pope Pius for not making enough of an effort to save Jews.  The display is small, the text brief, and for such a complicated and ...read more
This statue, Korczak and his Ghetto Children is a statue found at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.  It’s found in an area that remembers the over one million children who were victims of the Holocaust.  Over one million children. Dr. Janusz Korczak, who some of you may have heard of, wore many hats but as ...read more
I’m not one for souvenirs. In fact, I find them very stressful: will so and so like this, what if so and so has something like that, if I get so and so something then I have to get so and so something too…and so on. But heading to the Holy Land I did have ...read more
I’m not a big swimmer, but I figured since I was at the Dead Sea I had to check it out.  Besides, I wouldn’t actually be swimming – but floating!  Curiously it wasn’t the floating that was the most exciting part for me – it was the mud!  Dead Sea mud is incredible!  After lathering ...read more
I don’t know if Ms. Whiskers the cat would have been recognized as a conquering force back in ancient times, but nonetheless the picture on the right shows a model of the ancient city Bet She’an.  Were you to be standing in front of the model and turn 180 degrees you would see the remains ...read more
It’s amazing what you come across on top of Mountains.  We met some Israeli soldiers at the top of Mount Tabor.  Our guide Arthur struck up a conversation with them and they offered us some coffee they were brewing on a single burner camp stove.  Though not a coffee drinker, I didn’t want to appear ...read more
Switchbacks.  Those who are familiar with driving through the mountains have probably heard the term before.  A switchback is basically a zig zag road pattern that climbs a steep incline.  We encountered well over a dozen of them as our tour van snaked up Mount Tabor.  I was glad it had been a while since ...read more