Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Big snow in Jerusalem as Pilgrims Return Home

by Steve Ray on January 30, 2008

Videos moved to Virtual Pilgrimage page on our pilgrimage website here.

It has been snowing hard for 24 hours. Very interesting and much needed since there has been very little precipitation in Israel. Snow weighing down Palm trees is not something you see every day.

Maybe it's why snow isn't mentioned very often in the Bible (24 times) — only twice in the New Testament: Matthew 28:3 where the angel at Jesus' tomb was dressed in clothing as "white as snow"; and Revelation 1:14 where Jesus' head and hair were "white like wool, like snow."

LinoSm.jpgMy favorite is in a reference to one of David's Mighty Men: "Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab. He also went down and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day (2 Sam. 23:20). This must have taken place near Jerusalem or Bethlehem — up in the mountains.

We left our hotel in Jerusalem at midnight and drove down to Tel Aviv where it is only raining. It took 3 times longer than normal since the snow has choked the city.

Spent some time with Lino Rulli — Sirius Satellite Catholic Radio's "The Catholic Guy." We had some good times together in Jerusalem. (More pictures of Lino in the video here.)

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Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 8

by Steve Ray on January 30, 2008

Videos moved to Virtual Pilgrimage page on our pilgrimage website here.

Today we all drove out of Jerusalem down 3,000 feet to sea level, and then another 1,300 feet below sea level to the Dead Sea. We first stopped at Qumran and discussed the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Essense. Then to Masada and back to swim in the Dead Sea. We ate lunch, shopped and rode camels in Jericho. We also saw the Sycamore Tree of Zaccheus fame and the Mount of Temptation from which Jesus was tempted by the devil.

After returning for Mass, we drove again to Bethlehem for our Farewell Dinner. We ate a whole lamb, danced to Arabic music and said our farewells. It was cold and snowing while we boarded the bus to head back through the wall to our hotel.