Today at breakfast we pondered the nature of faux coffee (Nescafe) that refuses to dissolve in water. I proposed soap to bridge the polar and non-polar natures of the two substances, but Kali was not amused. She can be a little grouchy before she gets her fix.


Strong city walls

We toured the City of David, which is used as archaeological proof for the existence of a Jewish state. While there is no direct evidence that there was a king named David at the time in question, there were clearly Jews living in the city at about the time described by the Bible. We walked through a water tunnel, designed by the Jebecites, from the fortified city to a hidden spring beyond the walls.


Holy sights

After an excellent lunch along the Cardo, the old Roman shopping street, that remains remarkably unchanged, we went to the Western Wall. This was more powerful for me than I expected, to see something so old that was clearly “mine” was a different experience than other famous ruins. Of course, the destruction of the neighborhood that used to be against the wall, after Israeli paratroopers took it back in 1967, tempered the experience slightly. It is incredible that the Jewish and Muslim holy sites are literally right on top of each other, making any attempt to draw rational borders an exercise in futility. Still, it was awesome to see those huge stones unmoved by time and conflict.


Rooftop partay

We had another evening activity, where we discussed our experiences of antisemitism. I had none to share, but it was moving to hear those of others who grew up in less affluent, or more ignorant, parts of the country and world. The group was surprisingly good about understanding antisemitism as just one part of all racism, which must be opposed in all forms. Then we watched a documentary about the flight of Israeli F-15s over Auschwitz, which was almost Brucknerian in its homage to military power. Hard to reconcile Top Gun and Vad Yashem, but we dealt by having a party on our rooftop deck.