Friday, March 8, 2013

A disquieting Friday in Jerusalem

When Charlotte's interfaith tourists reached Jerusalem on Thursday, the sounds of the holy city were a testament to its religious diversity: Jewish groups banged on drums to celebrate bar mitzvahs; an amplified Arabic speaker chanted the Muslim call to prayer; and Christian churches rang bells to beckon pilgrims to worship.

By Friday, as they walked along the stone alleyways of old Jerusalem, the Charlotteans heard another sound: Explosives.

Israeli police used loud stun grenades to disperse young Muslims who began throwing stones and firebombs on the Temple Mount -- an area sacred to both Jews and Muslims, who call it the Noble Sanctuary.

Members of Charlotte's Temple Beth El and Myers Park Baptist didn't witness the clash. But they were nearby, preparing to visit  the Western Wall -- the most important shrine in Judaism.


But it was clear first thing Friday morning that the Israeli army was on high alert: At nearly every intersection, young soldiers stood at the ready with their M-16 rifles. They were also on guard at the Western Wall.



The morning and afternoon hours on Fridays are especially crowded and tense times in Jerusalem: Muslims gather in great numbers for Friday prayer; Jews get ready for Shabbat, or Sabbath, which starts at sundown; and those Christian pilgrims from Eastern Europe, Africa, the United States and elsewhere solemnly note the day of the week that Jesus was crucified by the Romans in Jerusalem.

-- Tim Funk  

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does "clinging to their guns and religion" ring a bell?

Anonymous said...

Business as usual in Israel. 24/7/365. Soldiers. Guns. Kids. Rocks. Molotov cocktails. Christians. Muslims. Jews. Bombs. Wailing. Praying. "Magic" walls. "Magic" temples. "Sacred" mountains, streets, temples, walls, houses, plants...nice place to visit....wouldn't want to live there.

Anonymous said...

all it proves is that all three patriarchal religions are crazy. There is no male in the sky who favors one of these groups, and Catholicism is arguably the most insane of all with its virgin mother and savior.

Anonymous said...

Are you can to make it over to the West Bank to see the ever encroaching ultra orthodox settlements? Is your group going to make any effort to meet with Palestinian Christians who are suffering just like Palestinian Msulims?

ScottCLT said...

Thank you for your window into another country. I travel the Middle East frequently, but have never made it to Israel. In fact, because of my work requirements to go to Saudi Arabia, I can't visit Israel. You cannot enter KSA if you have an Israel stamp in your passport. Though I would love to visit, I don't think that will happen for many years for me because of my work travel requirements. Some day, I will visit Jerusalem, though

Anonymous said...

All Israeli troops carry their weapons at all times, on duty or off, so no surprises here, you see them EVERYWHERE in Israel.

It's what they have to do, having been invaded so many times and terrorists living among them.

I encourage you to cross into the PA, and note the differences you see, then come to your own conclusions regarding who is wrong and who is right.

Anonymous said...

Israel is pure evil and they did 9/11. End of story. http://911missinglinks.com. Everything they do to Gentiles they accuse us of doing to them. It's called projection.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed by all of the bashing in the comments. And whoever think Israel attacked the US on 9/11 is just nuts. But all of these negative comments just shows intolerance from people that are demanding tolerance from others.

Anonymous said...

"intolerance from people that are demanding tolerance from others".

Describes Israel pretty well...

Funny how much they changed once they got a little power and a piece of land.

Or maybe they didn't change.