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NDC Lands in Holy Land

In spite of the fact that many of us have not slept for nearly 28 hours, we arrived in Israel and are having a great time. Our flight from Newark to Jerusalem was a tad bumpy and long, but thankfully uneventful.

We drove straight from Ben Gurion Airport to a scenic overlook of the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, and then walked down a path alongside the Garden of Gesthemane. The view of the Old City walls was misty and near mystical.

Mark Levand is wearing a "Keffiyeh," a traditional Arab headdress.
Mark Levand is wearing a "Keffiyeh," a traditional Arab headdress.

We then drove to Kibbutz Ramat Rachel for lunch on our way to Bethlehem, which is very close to Jerusalem but located in the Palestinian Territories. We spent most of our time there in the Church of the Nativity, which houses a grotto and manger area traditionally viewed as the birthplace of Jesus.

And we hadn't even checked into our Jerusalem hotel yet!

Mark Levand bought a "Keffiyeh," an Arab headdress at a local souvenir store -- and I implored him to remove it prior to crossing the checkpoint back into Israel.

I am about to fall asleep typing, so it's probably a good idea that I stop writing for now.

Shalom, Salaam, Peace.

Dr. Michael Bloom

 Mark Levand.
 A view of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.                                                                 Photo: Mark Levand