Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wednesday in Jerusalem

Near our "hotel" is a mosque and the call to prayer woke us at 4am, and then again at 5am. Maybe the first call was the warm up for those who hit the snooze alarm.
But i cannot articulate how incredibly moving the chant/song is. The man's voice is clear and plaintive. After hearing this, how could one not want to turn to God? The longing in his voice echoed the human desire to belong, to have meaning and purpose. I am jealous of these people who have such a tangible audible reminder of our raison d'etre.

Before breakfast we took a walk down the 99 steps nearby and circled the neighborhood. I am acutely aware of being a woman in this environment, particularly with the strong Arabic community here. I walk behind my husband. Holding hands is frowned on. But by far the most difficult thing I have to keep remembering is that when I approach another man, I must cast my eyes down. I tell Alex, "but I love to look at people's faces!" I am humbled by the lackadaisical attitude I've always had about being equal.

Breakfast is hummus, olives, yoghurt and mint tea. The owner now calls to us, "Good morning, honeymoon!"

It's almost 9:30 am local time- we're setting out to the Old City, to walk the ramparts and walls.
Tonight we dine at a very special restaurant, courtesy of Mark, Elaine, Izzy and Anna. So more to come...