I had a few errands to run after the service, one of which was to the Post Office to mail home my course books. They added more weight to my bags than I wanted, as I am not one to travel lightly. That's something I'm still working on! The Post Office was another adventure. I was grateful for some who spoke English. One is given a number (like CT's DMV process) and then one waits for a turn. However some were lacking patience and were inclined to ignore the numbers. Once I got to the window, I was helped by someone who spoke just enough English to inform me how to proceed. Sadly I understand no Arabic. I got the books packed and sealed and mailed.
Next stop was the Palestinian Heritage Museum--a small and yet powerful museum that conveys the Palestinian way of life. One of the exhibit areas included a room that told the story of Deir Yassin, the Palestinian Village where many were massacred during the 1948 catastrophe (Nakbar). It's the very same village we visited last Friday. The museum widened the story for me of a woman named Hind Al-husseini, who helped and cared for 55 orphaned or homeless children after that event. Her passion for the children was courageous and life giving. That museum visit was a surprising connection to my class I had not expected.
Last week the former bishop of Jerusalem died--the Rt. Rev. Samir Hanna Kafity. He had retired to California and his funeral was held there and a Memorial Service was held today at St. George's Cathedral at 5 pm. There were clergy from around the diocese along with Patriarchs of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox traditions. The service was mostly in Arabic and yet we did sing the hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today"--voices in Arabic and a small number of us In English. We are indeed Easter people and that hymn is such a reminder.
After the service several of us went to the Jerusalem Hotel for dinner--a causal place that apparently draws lots of young people, many of whom were smoking with a hookah. Seeing two young men with the pipe in their mouths and cell phones in hand seemed counter cultural to this ancient tradition. The ancient and the modern continue to be revealed.