There’s no vocabulary
For love within a family, love that’s lived in
But not looked at, love within the light of which
All else is seen, the love within which
All other love finds speech. This love is silent.
Indeed, I don’t really have the words to explain how special it was to have six family members, ages 6 – 68, come halfway across the globe to celebrate Christmas (and my birthday) with us. Mostly I felt gratitude that they would come so far and make such an effort. We loved sharing some of what we’ve learned about Jerusalem, and exploring new places together. It was an honor to be part of my niece and nephew’s first trip abroad (the first of many, I’m guessing — they were both phenomenal!). We did all kinds of stuff….
– visiting what my nephew calls “Mr. Christ’s” birthplace twice — 12/23 and 12/24 — and enjoying the contrast between peaceful Bethlehem and outright pandemonium
– singing Christmas carols in a 12th century Crusader chapel
– watching an Armenian priest post for 100s of tourist photos in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
– being thronged by schoolchildren just getting out of school on the Haram al-Sharif
– floating in the Dead Sea
– exploring the Old City from the top (Ramparts Walk) and the bottom (Western Wall tunnels) and everywhere in between
– touring the Occupied Territories with ex-IDF soldiers on a Breaking the Silence tour
– doing hand made puzzles at the crafts market in Tel Aviv
All of these were amazing adventures, but I think my favorite memories from the week were of the ten of us, just hanging out. We are so very lucky.