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Having trouble getting excited about our trip to Israel! Any advice?

Having trouble getting excited about our trip to Israel! Any advice?

May 12th, 2007, 01:47 PM
  #1  
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Having trouble getting excited about our trip to Israel! Any advice?

Hello everyone. First of all, I know that this is the European forum. I just wanted to post my message in two areas and forgot to select both forums. I imagine that there are plenty on this forum that have visited Israel and could enlighten me.

I always dreamed of a trip to Israel, however, my husband refused to put our family at risk traveling there. Now he has changed his mind! With only a two day stop in Israel, with us staying the night on the cruise ship, and hiring a private guide (no bus tours), my husband is thrilled to go.

I, on the other hand, am not. Let me explain why. Upon visiting so many Cathedrals through out Europe, I have discovered that wild claims of authenticity, regarding all things biblical, abound. I'm referring to relics. Cathedrals and Abbey's claims were shocking. One claimed to be in possession of the actual blood drops of Jesus in a gold vial. One claimed to have an actual chip of Jesus' cross. Too many to mention. The claims are never stated as likely. They are stated as fact. I find it offensive, not inspiring. As a Christian, I don't understand why a Pope or two didn't blush at the claims in their Cathedrals or Abbey's and reword, or remove some of the outlandish relics.

As I studied for a trip to Egypt, I loved to read about the likelihood of the authenticity of different royal mummies. Regarding Egyptian finds, authenticity is regularly challenged. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case concerning historical items, biblical in nature.

A friend of mine returned from a trip to Israel gushing that she had touched the very manger of Jesus. How outlandish! Apparently, there is no shame when presenting "true biblical" relics, this leaves me disheartened.

Here is my plan, hope that my guide can show us sites that are likely to be authentic. Are there many? Other than named rivers, mountains and valley's, etc.? Also, I'm trying to tell myself, lighten up, people are trying to make a living, so don't be childish, accept that people exaggerate and get over it. Determine not to be offended (even if the church is presenting the lies). Drink in modern Israel and the unique history, culture, and people of the land. For goodness sake, I only have two days!

Well, that is my plan. I yearned to see Israel for soooo long. I'm just very sad that I am not excited about it. I guess I am just jaded.

I'd welcome any advice, rebukes or encouragement.

Thanks,
Nannette
FLNan is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 01:52 PM
  #2  
J62
 
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Lighten up, people are trying to make a living, so don't be childish, accept that people exaggerate and get over it. Determine not to be offended (even if the church is presenting the lies). Drink in modern Israel and the unique history, culture, and people of the land. For goodness sake, you only have two days!

J62 is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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I think J62 has nailed it. Relax and lighten up. Reading some of your other threads, to me it looks like you tend to over-analyze/fret/stew about lots of things. Not a criticism - just what it looks like from here.
janisj is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Well, you should tell your friend that most scholars believe Jesus was born in Nazareth and the whole taxation story was concocted to make the birthplace conform to Old Testament prophecy.

But on to your question...most of the actual sights relating to Christ are medieval guesses or fabrications. But the cities of Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Galilee are, with little doubt, places he walked. That's special, no? And the Western Wall is most assuredly the retaining wall of the temple where he worshipped and taught.

As a non-believer, I actually get a kick out of counterfeit relics and holy places. I like the aesthetics of them. And the centuries of believers who have venerated these objects and places transmits a sense of, if not holiness, historicity that I enjoy.

Try to be less literal about the claims. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is an amazing building. Does it matter if the crucifixion and entombment didn't really take place there? It took place somewhere nearby, didn't it? Listen to the chanting, say a prayer. You'll get into the spirit of things!
Cimbrone is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 02:09 PM
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Count your blessings and enjoy your two days in Israel. There are plenty of more pressing problems in the world than claims of religious authenticity. Sheesh!
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May 12th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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ira
 
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Hi FL,

>Having trouble getting excited about our trip to Israel! Any advice?<

Get a copy of "Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain.

If nothing else, you will get to read a good book.

At best you will be laughing at how little has changed since 1867.

ira is offline  
May 12th, 2007, 03:18 PM
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Thank you all for your advise.

I'll continue to remember my own advise, plus don't take things too literal. (thanks J62 & Cimbrone) and add counting my blessings. (thanks StCirq)

Awesome advice Ira, I love a good book and a good laugh.

Janisj- You are the one who really nailed it. My husband gently encourages me to not get caught up in over analyzing the details of our trip. I'm going to snap out of it. What a waist of time to over-analyze/fret/stew about things. Thank you so much Janisj.

FLNan is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 01:41 AM
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ira and janisj to the rescue !! yes ira that is a great book and FL should read it.
leather1026 is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 01:52 AM
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I just returned last night from eight days in Israel and a side trip to Petra. As everyone says, don't overanalyse..just enjoy. Since you only have two days, you shouldn't have too much time to fret !

Patricia
PBProvence is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 04:04 PM
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My husband and I were raised in the Protestant church... but are no longer involved. On our trip to Israel we eliminated the trip to Bethlehem. Highlights were Masada, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem itself (especially the sites mentioned above.)
Grandma is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 04:55 PM
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FLNan,
Read Fodorite P_M_'s recent Israel trip report.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34950006

Relax and have a great trip!
lucy_d is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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I bet you pitched a royal fit when you found out there was no Santa Claus.
degas is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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Patricia, Fortunately, I am not fretting and determined not to over analyze. I do love to hear it over and over again. I'll look into Petra, in a non-over-analyzing way, that is!!
Thanks Patricia

Grandma, I am encouraged to hear that the your highlights of your trip are on our list. I am getting excited.

Lucy_d, I'm going to read the trip report right now. Thanks for the tip (I am relaxing and ready to have a great trip!)
FLNan is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 06:03 PM
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Cimbrone really has it right, IMO. I know it is bad form to snicker, but that is what made my time in the "Holy Land" so much fun. Being in Bethlehem, and seeing the "Manger" decorated with Christmas tree decorations. Watching a blazing shouting match between two sects over whether one had gone a moment over their alloted time for devotions at a shrine --- it really was a hoot.

I never let my amusement show, of course, but one needs a bit of levity to balance the over seriousness some ascribe to those "Holy" sites. You will enjoy your brief time in Israel, whatever your beliefs if you lighten up and take things with the proverbial grain of salt.

nukesafe is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 07:15 PM
  #15  
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Thanks Nukesafe! I look forward to seeing all of the activity. I've been chuckling while I read the descriptions of all the bickering. I guess I am not the only one who suffers from unnecessary fretting and stewing. More people could benefit from the candid advise of Fodorites.
FLNan is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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FLNan, I have a huge bag of saint bones that I can let you have real cheap.
degas is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Degas, I love it!!!!!!!!

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. You are great Degas!
FLNan is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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FLNan, I love to visit churches and have seen more than my share of "strange" relics.
degas is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 07:53 PM
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Degas, I cannot stop laughing!!!


I am going to look at the relics without any childish offense. I loved Cimbrones post, we can enjoy them indeed.
Oh well, it is time to go. Goodnight Degas, thanks again for the laugh!!
FLNan is offline  
May 13th, 2007, 10:56 PM
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FLNan,

Another way to look at it is that it is pure entertainment. I love to stop and watch those "Three Card Monte", or "Peas Under the Cup" people who set up a card table on the street in Italian or French markets.

You know that it is a scam. You know no one can win. You know it is rigged, and that the guy is a criminal. You realize the guy is hiding the pea, or switching the card ---- but you watch anyway.

It's fun! The guy entertains the crowd with lively patter as he reels in the sucker. You watch the sucker get hooked by winning a small bet, and then feel for him when he gets slammed.

Same thing with the religious hucksters, IMO. Always good for a laugh!

Never place a bet with them, either.

nukesafe is offline  

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