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I had every intention of doing a regular blog entry during my travels in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the experience was so intense and the trip to structured, not much energy was left for blogging. I needed to simply experience the trip, digest it, and reflect on on it once I returned home.
Instead of going chronological through the trip, I am going through pictures that resonate with me right now and telling those stories.
The above picture is of me laying tefillin at the Temple wall. This picture was taken on our second day in Jerusalem. I had yet to get over my jet lag, we had delved into some deep, philosophical discussions that day, and I was becoming overhwelmed with the intensity of Jerusalem. I was feeling the energy, fervor, history, culture clashes, and conflicts that exist there. I found it very unsettling and didn't know what to do with it. I, frankly, still don't.
However, laying tefillin at the wall was an incredible experience. To participate in an ancient ritual at the holiest of holy sites is indescribable. The Rabbi who helped me was quite nice and impressed with how much I knew how to do.
This experience of praying at the wall settled me a bit, and I was better able to take in Jerusalem after that moment. I felt more connected to the people, the land, and myself after that. I still found everything overwhelming, but was better able to take it all in. It is difficult to describe.