Lior & Eli at the Western Wall, Jerusalem

Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel

We’ve only been in Jerusalem for 10 days, and we’ve already been to the Western Wall a few times. It is such a beautiful place, and I feel honoured that I have been here more than a dozen times in my life so far. On this day I took the boys by myself, and when I wasn’t getting anxious about them running down into the men’s area and me not knowing what I should do about that*, I was enjoying people-watching. 

I love watching people back away from the wall, never turning their back on it. I love watching people sway while they pray. I love watching people take selfies in front of it, and I love seeing the religious men with their tallit and tzitzit, and beards.
Women's Side of the Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel Toddler praying at the Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel

How BIG are these stones? And to think that this is just the TOP of the wall. It goes so much further under (the current) ground. Huge! We went through the tunnels where you see the rest of the wall, back in 2009, and hopefully we will get to go again this year when my parents come to visit in June.

Lior was nervous, but eventually put his hands on the wall and asked me to help him pray. We prayed for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel, as he does each night. He knows it off by heart, but for some reason he wanted some prompting this time. 

I got to explain to him about how King Solomon built this temple, and that Solomon asked God to hear our prayers when we come and pray here, even though we are foreigners.

“Also the foreigner who does not belong to your people Isra’el — when he comes from a distant country because of your reputation (for they will hear of your great reputation, your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house; then hear in heaven where you live, and act in accordance with everything about which the foreigner is calling to you; so that all the peoples of the earth will know your name and fear you, as does your people Isra’el, and so that they will know that this house which I have built bears your name.”

– 1 Kings 8:41-43

Toddler praying at Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel Baby at the Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel Golden Menorah for the third temple just near the Western Wall - Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel

The New Testament speaks frequently about how we are now the Temple, and that God’s spirit dwells in us, which is beautiful. For me this doesn’t take away from the importance or awesomeness of being in this actual spot, actually, being here and seeing how big and being able to really visualise how beautiful and important this place was, helps me to really understand what that means for my body to be that temple. I mean, if I don’t know how great and grand the first and second temples of God were, and I can’t see that in my mind’s eye, how am I supposed to truly understand the importance of those words saying that I am now that temple…

People have different opinions about the reality of a physical third temple being built. Revelations could be interpreted a number of ways on this, but I think I like to think that there will be a real third temple. If not on this earth, then certainly when the new heaven and new earth come I think there will be. Either way, I love that some Jewish people have funded and had built an actual golden menorah for the third temple. There it sits, near the temple site, correct to the Biblical specifications. What dedication, belief and resolve these people have! It’s really a great reminder of how zealous we should be for God and for the things he loves.

*If you’re wondering why I would be anxious about them running down onto the men’s side, it’s because the men and women are separated. I wouldn’t want to offend anyone by running down and collecting him from the men’s side, and I also wouldn’t want them to bother anyone praying there. I also wouldn’t want to them to get hurt down there by themselves…
I think in the end I would just try to find someone who spoke English and get them to go get them for me…

An opportunity

What do you want to hear about life in Jerusalem, and what we’re doing? I don’t know what is interesting to you guys, and what is boring!! Help!

Nachlaot, Jerusalem, Israel in the evening

We’ve arrived in Israel and are settling in for the long haul. It is nice to have had a few days of rest while Luke is still on holidays and especially after such a full on time in Korea, often going out for 12 hour days or longer.

Lior being the homebody that he is has particularly requested that we stay home to play, while Eli is getting his shoes on and sitting in the pram each morning before we’ve even had breakfast! I hope we can find a happy medium to suit them both. Even now as I type this Eli has finished playing and has gone to sit in the pram, just waiting for us to go out. Of course, I’m still in my pyjamas so that’s not going to happen any time soon!

On Monday Luke started back at work and I had to meal plan and then do some groceries, and it’s really bringing me back down to earth realising that there will be both challenges and blessings to being in the one country for so long. On the one hand it made me think about how the boys and I will manage our time and resources and not become lonely. And on the other hand I realised I have an opportunity I’ve been craving for a while – to simplify, and slow down. I feel like I can really enjoy not having a strong schedule packed to the brim, and really focus on being present, and taking things slow.

If you have some meal ideas for me that are cheap, easy to make with a limited kitchen, and yummy, send them our way in the comments below!

Door in Nachlaot, Jerusalem, Israel

Because Flying with toddlers is like Childbirth…

    

My best kept secret (until now), and worst kept secret from Luke is that I actually hate flying for more than 4 hours. Our NZ and Hobart trips were no problems, but I was having a bit of anxiety in the lead up to these two flights we’ve just been on (10 hours to Seoul, 12 hours to Tel Aviv).

Luke explained to me a few days before our trip, that flying with toddlers is like childbirth. Booking tickets is like getting pregnant. Then you just wait and wait until the big day comes, planning, but not really sure how it will turn out (at least you know more or less how long it will take!!), and once you start labour, I mean, the flight, you can’t get off until you get to the other side!!

Then when you get off the plane/give birth you are overcome with excitement and love and you see the beautiful new country, or your beautiful new baby, and it’s suddenly all forgotten, and all worth it. Then a few years time you do it all again!!

This is the truth about flying with toddlers…