First Night in Jerusalem by Aric Clark

Our flight from Newark was a little late leaving, but everything from there on went very smoothly. Flying against the rotation of the earth meant a shortened day. We didn’t arrive at Holy Land Hotel in Jerusalem until the evening. We had dinner and a brief devotion and some of our number prudently headed for bed.

Some of us had another idea…

We walked the short distance down to the Old City of Jerusalem, entering through Herod’s Gate and poked around for a goodly length of time in the quiet ancient streets. I love walking strange cities at night as you get to see a side of a place that isn’t usually on the docket. It feels intimate, and since many of the normal attractions are closed you end up poking into less obvious corners. So I clambered into dark corners, up stairs, and into areas that sometimes were dead-ends.

We had to go through some security to stand in the plaza of the wailing wall. There was comparably little crowd, it being late at night. The brash lighting and sleek metal of the security booths contrasted with the ancient sandstone reminding us that these old places have very contemporary political significance.

We took a little time to be silly and to express some of our buzzing excitement to be here. It was like taking a deep breath right before launching a daunting task.

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