Monday, June 01, 2009

My Trial at the Lion's Gate

If you're familiar with scripture, you might remember the passage in John 5:2 concerning the pool by the Sheep Gate. This gate (also formerly called St. Stephen's Gate) is now known (and has since the 16th century) as the Lion's Gate. It's just up the hill from Gethsemane and is along the Via Dolorossa.

Anyway, as I made my way up toward the gate, I encountered my most formidable obstacle in the entire time I have been in the Holy Land—a gaggle of Arab school girls. I was petrified, and they were quite fierce, as the picture below attests.

UPDATE: Probably not too clear, but one girl is helping her much younger brother who is distraught, while the other noticed that I was pointing the camera at them and started waving.

The encounter began as follows: I was approaching the gate. I noticed a contingent of similarly clad individuals of apparent female gender (Arab dress) and of a diminutive stature. They began to wave at me and say in unison, "Shalom," but as I drew nearer, they began to act silly. No, really, they were being silly. Naturally, I began to grin, and they passed by. After a very brief interval, I turned to take a photo of the retreating mal(beni)feasants.

Okay, I have to admit that I love these children, Arab or Jewish. They're just beautiful. While it's understandable that we have differences, it's shameful when we forget our shared humanity.
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