Tonight was the only night that we will ever be allowed in East Jerusalem after dark. We went on a fieldtrip as a group to the Western Wall to see the welcoming of the Sabbath. All the boys wore slacks, white shirts and kipahs and the women wore long sleeves and long, dark skirts as well as scarves over our heads. The women and men are separated but it was such an amazing thing to hear all of the songs being sung and the joyful dances. I was able to join in on “Shabbat Shalom” (thanks, Brother Baron!) but the rest of the time I just drank the scene in. There is so much power in the strong tradition of this people. The Wall has been hallowed from all of the profound pleading and praising to Heavenly Father. I could really feel it. It is easy to feel the love the Lord has for all of His children who so humbly lay their lives before him.
I wonder sometimes how they feel to have tourists witnessing all those things that are sacred to them. I’m sure they are used to it, but it must be frustrating at times. I am so grateful that I have the chance to worship in peace and privacy and I admire them for their diligence.
There was a shooting in David's City while we were at the Western Wall. None of us heard it or anything and we are totally safe, but when we passed through that area on the way home there were armed guards everywhere and the air was buzzing. It reminded me that I am so grateful for the men and women in the United States military who have kept me safe. I hope we were all able to ponder on our love for our country, and the freedom it grants us, on this significant anniversary. May God bless America.