Monday, August 13, 2012

A Few Weeks In, by David Weltman

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

 Wow, what an awesome first few weeks. It’s been a lot of work as of late, which is funny, as this is supposed to be simply the orientation and we don’t yet have eighty classes to study for. And yet, with ulpan, finding apartments, and our emergency medicine course, along with all the other mind-numbing tasks we’ve had to do thus far, we’ve had our hands full!

Nevertheless, I have used the past few weekends to travel to visit friends. Two weeks ago, I went to Jerusalem with another student on the program to visit my friend Daniel, and we enjoyed getting lost in the Old City, a beautiful Shabbat overlooking the eastern mountains, and a Tisha B’av service overlooking the Old City. This dark day on the Jewish calendar marks the destruction of the ancient Temples of Jerusalem and the sieges and burnings of the city and its inhabitants, “all her gates are desolate, her priests sigh, her maidens are afflicted and as for her, it is bitter unto her” (Lamentations 1:4). It was such a cool juxtaposition, listening to those words and looking at the city renewed and prosperous.

the Cardo, a very much intact ancient Roman Road

Herod's Gate (the gate of flowers)

Damascus Gate (gate of Schechem)

Jerusalem to the East.
Beyond that, I signed a lease on my new apartment! It doesn’t open up until September 1st, so I’ll have to figure out what exactly I’ll be doing in the meanwhile, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there—next week. I can’t wait to report what comes next! - blogger of the month, David Weltman