Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Flat Ainsleigh Project: Israel Edition, part II

Continuing from yesterday, today is Part Two in a three-part series on Flat Ainsleigh visiting the Promised Land. Initially, Kate said she would try to show Ainsleigh a good time. Try? She totally delivered. The adventure with Ainsleigh continues...
(as before, place your cursor over the picture to see the caption)

Just like in the United States, the kids go to school and the grownups work. However, because we moved to Israel just this summer, I was taking special Hebrew immersion classes called ulpan. It's really hard to learn a new language as a grownup! Miss M and especially AM are having a much easier time learning Hebrew because they're so young. We play in playgrounds, do chores, and sometimes have treats, just like you!

We took a few special trips during your visit. In Jerusalem we went to the Old City, which has been around for thousands of years. It is a very important place to three different religions: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Sometimes there are arguments over who will be in charge of Jerusalem. It can be difficult to agree on something so important to so many different people, and this is one of the hard parts of living here.

We walked on part of the ramparts, which are the walls of the Old City fortified against attackers. We walked from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate, then visited the Kotel (also known as the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall).

The Kotel is the last remaining piece of the Temple, which was a holy site for Jews up until it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. (That was the Second Temple; the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE.) Jews (and others) come from all over the world to pray at the Kotel. There is a tradition to write a note and slip it into the wall.

One especially fun thing we did was go to Machane Yehuda Street, Jerusalem's shuk. It’s a market where it’s possible to find all kinds of food: the freshest fruits, vegetables, and bakery items; meats, fish, eggs, and cheeses; candies, dried fruit and nuts, and halvah, a middle eastern confection made out of sesame seed paste. The shuk is busy all day, especially on Thursdays and Friday mornings as people are getting ready for Shabbat.


Katherine said...

Wow! The Israel edition is just fantastic...I don't think I blinked once while I read them! Then I may have daydreamed that I was in those pictures.

Flat Ainsleigh's getting to be quite the globe-trotter!