I sat next to a little Orthodox Jewish girl who spoke only Hebrew. She was at first not keen on being without her mom and yet we managed to communicate. At one point I woke up and her head had fallen in my lap as she slept!
On the flight also were 60 or so Orthodox girls who had just graduated from high schools all around the country. They were now headed to the old city of Jerusalem to attend a seminary to study Judaism. They were taking a break of 9 months to one year to study their faith before entering college. They were so excited to be heading here and filled the air with laughter and great joy. They will live in dormitories also in the old city. Another blessing to witness young people excited about their faith.
It's a Jewish tradition on El Al to clap when the plane safely lands, and clap we did! After a bus ride to Jerusalem and getting settled in my room, our class gathered for Holy Eucharist at 6 pm. Our lessons included Abraham's call in Genesis and Psalm 122 "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper who love you..." A quick trip to the college's rooftop revealed a beautiful view of St George's Cathedral and a hint of the old city. This is a city with it's own precious character and blessing for so many.