Hey, it's passover! I haven't done anything to mark it yet, so now's as good a time as any to start posting about my birthright trip.
I'll start at the end. We visited Jerusalem last, as in a proper pilgrimage. We arrived at night, the 3rd stop of a typically loooooooong birthright day. We traipsed around the old city and made our first visit to the Kotel (the wall.)
Security checkpoint. "The chief rabbis of Israel have ruled that walking through the metal detector system does not violate Shabbat or festivals."
Overlooking the Kotel. Noa, our tour guide, checks an English translation in her trusty bible. (My notes tell me she was reading from something in Kings. Presumably for historic perspective, as Noa was always fairly irreverent. You probably can't tell it from this set of pictures, but those of you who have been on the same trip know how very very secular it was. Wait til I get to the hippie rabbi who called Bob Dylan a prophet.)
Wine for the blessing.
We could barely keep our eyes open for the tour of the subterranean excavations of the wall under the Muslim quarter, even though our guide was this excellent orthodox lady who'd made aliyah from Philadelphia, where she used to give tours in colonial garb.
According to my notes, we pulled up at our hotel after midnight and breakfast was scheduled for 7:30. Have I perhaps mentioned the torturously long days??
Stay tuned for more Jerusalem.