Day 1: Abrahamic Reunion in Jerusalem

Posted on Feb 17, 2017

Abrahamic Reunion Israel dinner Jerusalem Christian quarters The Journey Resumes…

Today is a reunion of hearts. Many of us travelers know each other from previous encounters – from retreats and travels with Shabuddin David Less, and at the Parliament of World Religions that was held in Salt Lake City a year ago.

This is also a meeting of intent – to contemplate and contribute to the possibility of Peace in the Holy Land.

On the minds of us all, if I were to be so bold as to surmise, is the question…

“How can I make a difference? In what way may this person contribute to the reconciliation in the Holy Land?”

I know it’s on my mind.

Tonight we gathered pre-dinner to discuss some basic do’s and don’ts. First of all, we are not a political organization. The best response to the people whom we encounter who make statements on politics is to say,

“We are not a political organization,”

and simply not engage in discussion.

Secondly, to be careful of words spoken in this incendiary land. Of course, avoid any inflammatory comments… and a more subtle awareness. Such as carefully observing the correct language to use. Saying “Shalom” to a taxi driver who happens to be Palestinian could cause ire, and silence at best. When in doubt, it’s better to use English for thank you, hello and good bye.

Conservative dress is the best choice in general, and carrying a scarf (women) or hat (men) is always a good idea. Tomorrow we’ll being going to the tomb of Rabia, a Sufi Saint, where head covering is preferable.

Speaking entirely for myself, when I arrived a day early to visit with my daughter who made Aliyah (became an Israeli citizen), I felt like I’d arrived home. This is my 5th visit in my lifetime – most recently a year ago. My emotional reaction of coming home is, frankly, irrational and inexplicable. And yet, the feeling is unmistakeable.

Dear reader, let me ask you, whether Christian, Muslim or Jew, if you’ve been to Israel, did you feel the same? It’s the magic of this place. And all the more reason for it to be kept safe and open to all faiths.

Click to discover more about the Abrahamic Reunion non-for-profit organization.

For those who are interested, here’s our itinerary for the next 12 days:

ABRAHAMIC REUNION IN ISRAEL

February 17th – March 1st, 2017 (12 Nights)

ITINERARY

FEB 17TH – FRIDAY – DAY ONE – Arrive – Night in Jerusalem

  • Night in Jerusalem, The Gloria Hotel, located inside the Old City Walls in the Christian Quarter, just a couple blocks away from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
  • Group dinner 5:30 outside the hotel, walking in the Old City

FEB 18th – SATURDAY – DAY TWO – Meditation & Presentations – Jerusalem

  • Presentations from tour leaders David Less, Ghassan Manasra, Anna Less and other AR Peacemakers
  • Walk through Old City 10:00 to 1:00 Lunch in the Old City
  • Dinner with Hajj Ibrahim & Mount of Olives Walk. Leave hotel at 4:30
  • Stay at Gloria Hotel

FEB 19th – SUNDAY – DAY THREE – Jerusalem – Meeting the AR Peacemakers

  • Breakfast & Meditation at the Gloria Hotel
  • Move to Tantur Ecumenical Institute, just outside Jerusalem
  • Lunch, Dinner, Presentations, and Night at Tantur
  • 1:30 Meeting with AR Peacemakers
  • Pray together in Jerusalem 3-hours, joining with Interfaith Conference

FEB 20th – MONDAY – DAY FOUR – Touring Jerusalem

  • Meetings with AR Peacemakers
  • Night at Tantur Ecumenical Institute

FEB 21st – TUESDAY – DAY FIVE – Druze Village

  • Breakfast and Meditation at Tantur, then check out from Tantur
  • Visit to Daliat Il-Carmel & Druze Village
  • Night in Nazareth at the Golden Crown Hotel Nazareth

FEB 22nd – WEDNESDAY – DAY SIX – Haifa, Druze Towns

  • Visit to Druze Village, Isafiya
  • Visit to the Bahai Temple in Haifa
  • Visit to Nazareth & Touring Nazareth
  • Night at the Golden Crown Hotel, Nazareth

FEB 23rd – THURSDAY – DAY SEVEN – Hebron / Jerusalem

  • Dual-narrative tour of Hebron, visit to the Tomb of the Patriarchs where Abraham is buried with 1hr to sit as a group in a sacred olive grove said to have been planted and owned by Abraham.
  • Night at Tantur Ecumenical Institute outside Jerusalem

FEB 24th – FRIDAY – DAY EIGHT – Galilee Touring

  • Touring of Galillee
  • Night at Tantur Ecumenical Institute

FEB 25th – SATURDAY – DAY NINE – Bethlehem

  • Tour of Bethlehem
  • Drive to Jericho, check into the Jericho Resort Villages

FEB 26th – SUNDAY – DAY TEN – Group Retreat

  • All meals and night in Jericho

FEB 27th – MONDAY – DAY ELEVEN – Group Retreat Day 2

  • Breakfast & Lunch at the Hotel, Group retreat continues until 3pm
  • Check into Leonardo Hotel, Ashkelon, night in Ashkelon

FEB 28th – TUESDAY – DAY TWELVE – Journey South

  • Tour of Bedouin Community, Jewish town of Netivot
  • Night in Ashkelon

MAR 1st – WEDNESDAY – DAY THIRTEEN – Depart Home

  • Tour officially ends Noon March 1st

The tour ends, and happily I get to stay 9 days longer, visiting with my lovely daughter. And that’s a different story…

Stay posted for tomorrow’s AR adventures and insights.

Cheers!

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