I come to the Garden

I had a little moment. I got over it, but for a moment, I was freaking out because I was not up for another day of shopping in neighborhoods. I wanted to get to the REAL DEAL, whatever that is. So, my Sweet Lady and Tallulah headed out to settle on a Hannukiah while I went to explore the Mehkanah Yehuda. This public market is the place where West Jerusalem stocks up prior to the beginning of the Sabbath at sundown Friday. Not being sure that this would be “authentic” I trundled off anyway.

This was, in fact, the real market. Everything you could want, and plenty you did not know you needed is here. This is especially true of fresh fruit and vegetables as well as fresh baked breads. There is, of course, the meats as well if you are in to that sort of thing. There are also wheeled suitcases for sale, which is how the Orthodox men who have huge families to feed schlep all the stuff home. It’s a smaller market compared to the Souk in the Old City, but much more local feeling.

Because if it’s size, it is easier to walk around, so fortified with a jelly donut, I headed out to meet my Sweet Lady, Tallulah, the Bride, and the Best Friend at the Israel Museum. Among other things, this is the place where they keep the Dead Sea Scrolls. There is also a scale model of Jerusalem as it was in the First Century. This was the time when the Temple was where the Dome of the Rock now stands. It’s obvious from the model that the Temple absolutely dominated the city physically and must have shaped the life of everyone who lived there. The Museum has an incredible archeological collection as well, and the whole place is worthy of at least a day, not the three hours we had to give it.

We had to motor because it was time to get to the Mount of Olives while there was plenty of light left. The challenge in the was in convincing our taxi driver that we wanted just a ride, not a tour. Everyone is an expert around here. And you don’t really need an expert to get the Mount of Olives. The view from the top is spectacular. If you did not know you were in Jerusalem before, you do now. The Mt. of Olives is also steep, making it the real Via Dela Rosa for quadriceps.

Either because it was Friday or because it was later in the day, the crowds were not heavy in the chapels or the Garden of Gethsemane. The olive trees in the Garden may be over 2,000 years old, so it is possible that they were there when Christ was betrayed. They aren’t talking, but the area has a powerful spirit. The pilgrims in this area were more reverent than inside the Old City, making it easy to feel the presence in this place.

The lowest spot on our walk, all the way under the ground, was the Tomb of Mary, mother of Jesus. This place, like Gethsemane, is easier to verify historically than sites in the Old City, and the presence I felt in the garden was palpable here too. The Greeks who run the place know how to do mysteries well. No lamps, candles, or incense are spared in the veneration of Mary. These are the real places, and I am done having my moment.