Monday, April 09, 2007

Last Day of Passover

This sure was a different Passover holiday for me. Last year I had wandered around the Jewish quarter of the old city, took my son on a jeep tour of all the ancient Jewish sites around the old city and this year, it was like I hung out with Jesus's disciples. First the messianic Jewish seder and then yesterday, right before the last day of Passover, it was Easter Sunday. Saturday night I watched on television the goings on at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and it kind of frightened me with the holy fire and letting the wax drip down the pilgrims' faces. Besides it's so dark in there. I decided to join my messianic Jewish friends in a much more subdued Easter Sunday service at the Garden Tomb - where Protestants believe Jesus was buried. They said it was an evangelical service in Arabic, which I thought was gonna be kind of funky.

Hubby was getting irritated at my rushing out to do these strange things and it manifested in his answering my kids in the following way...

Kids: "MOM! Where are you going" - see - they don't really care where I am going, they're just friggin' worried that I'm not going to cook a festive Passover meal for them.

Hubby (always being politically incorrect and horribly offensive): "She's going to go get crucified."

Kids: "What is that?"

Me: "Tell you later. Bye" (slamming the door shut)

We parked in East Jerusalem and walked to the garden tomb, which is not far from the American Consulate. I could tell this was a Protestant-type service. Everyone was tall (just kidding), quiet (not kidding) and the Arab "believers" were traditionally late. I sat with the foreigners to get the translation of the Arabic-led service and thought the music was great - mixing traditional hymns sung in Arabic with Darbuka drumming. I didn't sing along because it's difficult for me to sing of Jesus the Lord and Savior in Arabic and even in English when you are just there as an observer, not as a believer. But I enjoyed basking in everyone's spirit and happiness.

I had taken photos and even videos of the ceremony and hymn singing, but we were asked not to publish the photos. I asked my friends later why I couldn't put these videos/photos on my blog. Safety reasons, I was told. What if there were former Moslems who had converted to Christianity and were on their families' shit list? It would be dangerous for them to be ID'd. So for their sake, I dare not publish photos that have people in them or that are clear. You'll just get the tomb photos, folks.


Sheema said...

Hi Leah, I've been reading your posts on MidEast Youth for awhile now and can I just say that I enjoy them immensely...not only the things you write about but the way you write, too - you really have a gift!

You've helped to give me a lot of precious insights into Jerusalem life, which is something I've been desperately trying to understand more lately...thank you so much, from the bottom of my heart!! :-)

jerusalemgypsy said...

Thanks Sheema (what a great name you have, by the way).

Hope you can come to experience Jerusalem one day soon - its spirit is special - so special. But you knew that.

Sheema said...

Thank you! It's an Arabic name (though I'm not Arab myself) meaning 'a flower in bloom'.

I can only dream and pray that I'll make it over to Jerusalem someday...and if I ever do I would love to look you up!!

In the meantime it's blogs like yours that make it all come alive for me...