Last week I was in Israel.
It’s the source of all the Sunday school stories I heard growing up, and later on in school learned that Roman Empire & the Islamic caliphate wrought destruction upon the city and its inhabitants, capturing and controlling the region to protect its religious interests and people. It is rich with culture and weighty with its history of destruction & death.
We all have heard the stories of Moses, David, Jesus & Mohammed. Dig just a little deeper you find the city has been conquered many times and even completely destroyed twice . In America, we seem a bit partial to the versions we can stomach, but in reality this place is riddled with mystery where it seems that all sides have been wrong, and it has become a conversation of exhausting strife and suffering. The irony is that within the layers of newer and older walls of the Old City, all of these people groups who are enemies historically live together in a surprisingly small enclosure with a measure of tolerance and peace not to be expected considering the orthodox reverence to their faiths.
When I made it to the Wailing Wall (or Western Wall), I saw men young and old praying fervently for hours, and then walking away with tears in their eyes and fire in their hearts. For some of them, their desire for God to inhabit and rule the earth is tangible.
I eventually got a chance to get up on the outer walls itself, walking along the narrow path where I passed a few of the outer gates.
I went into the Old City about 5 times in 5 days hoping to get killer video footage for a video project I’m involved with and found it much more difficult than I had anticipated (hence the numerous re-entries). The heat and light was a bit too hot and bright, so my time was limited for good material.
I didn’t spend much time shooting stills since my focus was on getting video, but a few bus rides, trains and drives to the city, I was able to snag the following images. 🙂