On a lower level of the Temple Mount is the El Aqsa Mosque, into which only practicing Muslims are allowed. The Mount has Israeli soldiers scattered about. While we were there, a group of Jewish settlers arrived as if in protest of some sort. It is against Jewish law for a Jew to come onto the Temple Mount and yet these Jews arrived. Muslims began to follow them around the Mount and shouted what sounded like Muslim prayers. It was peaceful and also excited a number of people. It is sad to know the divisions are so deep.
We left there for the Pools of Bethesda where some of Jesus' healing ministry took place and to St Anne's Church dedicated to the mother of Mary. Next stop was the Ecce Homo Center run by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion for a debriefing of our course. We met on the rooftop which had a stunning view of the old city. In the afternoon two of us walked the Ramparts above the city walls. It was a wonderful way to see the old city from above and to observe another phenomenal view and to have a new adventure. There have been many adventures. We concluded the day with a closing Eucharist celebrated by our New Zealand classmate with music provided by our Samoan classmate, followed by reception at the Dean's home and dinner at the college.
There aren't enough words to express how powerful the class has been and and how I have gained more insight into Abraham's land and his children. Abraham is still so complex--as he lived and as his children continue to live. I really wonder what Abraham would make of the divisions that still exist with his children. What would Abraham say?