Samia, Sarina, Sophia, Sarnia – who am I?
We are staying at a kibbutz hotel and each day our dining tables are labeled with any of the above versions. Around us are hundreds of Jews celebrating Passover and it’s interesting being in their midst.
We have been 9 days in Israel – days completely full with no time to write anything.
The first few days we stayed in a Convent in Abu Ghosh (Emmaus) and took day trips from there to St George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt, Jericho, Bethlehem, Qumram and Ein Gedi.
We have been visiting many sites and having different experiences. The most delightful was sailing on the Sea of Galilee in a wooden boat (see picture) which was a very peaceful experience, especially when they shut down the engine. There has been much singing in churches, which all have phenomenal acoustics, and some eurythmy and talks. The beds are comfortable, there’s a huge variety of buffet foods (decision-making becomes difficult) and the bathrooms modern with plenty of hot water – none of this do I take for granted.
Today, some intrepid souls climbed down ladders holding onto cables to see Mary Magdalene’s cave (maybe) and we visited Magdala, which has recently been discovered, and explored the archeological diggings (scientifically confirmed). While intrepid souls were climbing, we waited at the bottom being befriended by a horse that had shredded its tether rope and thought we must have goodies in our pockets.
We also visited Mount Tabor which has a beautiful church at the top to commemorate Christ’s Transfiguration (see pictures). We usually have a reading from Scripture, then a reading from Anne Catherine Emmerich’ visions, followed by a short talk from Robert Powell and singing and possibly eurythmy. With all this activity we usually visit only 2 sites each day.
There was much hilarity about beds. Two men share a room and one of them is very tall. He needed a longer bed which was promised, but when they came back to their room at the end of the day there was a long double bed instead of twins. The two of them were considering how they felt about sharing a bed when I found out about it. We had some slightly hysterical laughter, reported the mistake to reception, and it got corrected while we ate dinner. It’s hard to explain what was so funny about it, but we take our funnies where we find them.