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Experiencing the Holy Land

Today’s blog post comes from Valparaiso University Law student Erika B…
Boker Tov (Good Morning),

So today was amazing. I got to hear a woman speak who was a holocaust survivor. Ever since I was really little I have been fascinated by WW2 and the holocaust (I guess that is what I get from growing up with a dad loves history). I have been to a Labor Camp in Germany and I have been to museums before but this one was different. I was in Israel, where Jewish people come from. Israel, where people live with this awful memory every day. Israel, the county that Jewish people call home.

 

art in the churchHoly cow I am in Israel! A place I never thought I would be and still, being here and standing in these streets I can’t believe it. It has only been a couple days and if I left right now I would be satisfied with this trip. I get I’m here for school and I understand I am learning about the Israeli and Palestinian conflict but I am also the learning about this country.

 

wailing wallIsrael is holy to many religions and being a Christian and being in this country has a very religious purpose for me as well as a legal and educational purpose. When we got to see the Wailing Wall at Temple Mount (something else I never thought I would see), I couldn’t wait to be able to see the church of the Holy Sepulchre. This church was built on the place that Jesus was crucified. I literally walked in his footsteps on Via Dolorosa which was the path he carried the cross. I placed my hands on his tomb which instantly the moment I touched, I cried, and it was the most amazing thing I have ever done as a Christian woman.

class discussionWhen we were at the parliament building and the Supreme Court we stopped outside for a short class discussion. This is what I have been waiting for, the chance to hear the Israeli and Palestinian students opinion on things. I think they are finally opening up to us because they were not afraid to tell us what they were thinking or feeling. I am hoping that our other encounters with them will go as interesting.

Like I said, if I left today I would be happy. I have experienced things I never thought I would, had religious experiences I only wished for, and got to see different views and thoughts on the conflict that the people who live here ever day face. This trip, so far amazing. I can’t wait to see what will happen next!