Encountering Jerusalem

Encountering Jerusalem February 23, 2023

I Just Flew in from Israel, And…

New City – Jerusalem — Holy Land Tours | Good Shepherd TravelWell, you know the rest.  And you may have noticed (cough) that I launched right into my most recent travel – Israel  – and yes, “Boy, is my spirit tired!”  Nowhere more than the city of Jerusalem, where you encounter two nations, three world religions, four climatic zones, and at least ten conquerors meet.  When you are there you meet all of these and more.

I came home exhausted, consciously and willingly, but exhausted.  Which is as pilgrimage ought to be.

A poem by T. S. Eliot describing the journey of the Three Kings to Bethlehem, begins,

“A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.”

My journey was like that – cold, wet, and “the weather sharp.”  And like Eliot’s imagined journey, my actual one was full of ironies and contradictions.  The land is the land, the peoples the peoples, the histories the histories, none of which are obliged to meet my expectations.  But again, that is what pilgrimage is for – to dispel the false and demand you bow to the true.

Already, I am wandering from my intent, though.  Let me get back to what prompted this post.  If something like that, something hard on the mind and demanding of the soul, is what you need to do, maybe I can help.

Encountering Jerusalem  with Fred – 

I am offering an unguided pilgrimage for those who would rather be discomfited and enlightened, than comforted and assured.  

Seven days of exploring this fabled city as it really is.  Expect to let go of everything you expect to find, and let yourself find and be found.   You will explore on your own each day, alone or in a couple – no more – as you will only encounter the city when there is no buffer between you and it.  Come with questions, not answers.  Fred will help you explore those questions as you wish to.  

We will meet in Jerusalem, all of us staying at a reputable hostellocated in the center of the city with easy access to all parts of town. Over a common breakfast there will be a choice of goals for the day, suggested by Fred, but going on your own. Each evening we will share experiences and reactions, not only what you found but what found you. You will be encouraged to record your experiences in whatever form works for you.  

While there is enough in Jerusalem to fill a week, we may choose take one of those days together to see Masada or Jericho (to menti

Fred at Dome of the Rock

on but two examples) 

There is a maximum of 12 people.  It will be either in October 2023 or February 2024. Costs will include yo

ur lodging (which includes a really large and substantial breakfast), Fred’s costs, and any added day trip.  Rough estimate is between $1000 and $1200 per person, excluding transportation to and from Jerusalem.  

If interested, contact me at wfwbklyn@gmail.com  If enough are interested, I will negotiate with the hostel and about day trip costs.  I will then post a proposal with costs to those who are interested.  The minimum enrollment is eight, maximum twelve.  


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