Report on Visit to Israel
Report on Visit to Israel (6)
Sunday, November 3
From the morning, Ibrahim and Betty took us to various parts of Jerusalem. At first Ibrahim took us to a water site called "the Pool of Silwan" in the Kidron valley near Old Jerusalem. Water is springing out here, and according to Ibrahim, the water here is connected with all the water under Jerusalem. In addition, he said that it is connected with water called Zamzam, a spring water in Mecca, the most sacred place for Muslims.
This site is the same as one that is referred to as the Pool of Siloam in the New Testament. Jesus put mud on the eyes of a blind man, and ordered him to go to the Pool of Siloam and wash the eyes with the water. When the blind man went to the pool and washed his eyes as instructed, his eyes opened and he restored his vision.
I asked a person at this site to put the water into a PET bottle. There was a small amount of Mt. Fuji water left inside the bottle, and when he took the water from the pool into the bottle, the water of Mt. Fuji was inevitably poured into the pool and mixed into the water of Jerusalem.
Then, Ibrahim took us to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus Christ visited this place frequently to pray.
The Garden of Gethsemane is located halfway up Mt. Olive and inside the towns of Arabs. In the photo below shows the view from the top of Mt. Olive to Old Jerussalem.
At the lunch time, Ibrahim told "I will take you to the best restaurant in Jerusalem". Since I wanted to treat him for lunch, it was really convenient. But he stopped by a small shop at Mt. Olive and bought a paste of beans called Humus. This is very typical Israeli food. Then, I wondered where he was taking us, and we found that it is his home again.
That means that the best restaurant in Jerusalem he mentioned was actually his house! It seems that he called his wafe at home and asked her to prepare lunch for us. We didn't know that because he was using the Arabic language. We were moved by his hospitality.
After the lunch, I asked Ibrahim to take us to the place where they are praying every day to the direction of Mecca, and he took us to the rooftop of his house. The photo below shows the view from there to the direction of Mecca. It is difficult to recognize it in the photo, but we could see the Dead Sea.
Then, parting from Ibrahim, we went into the town of Old Jerusalem. We visited the Church of Flagellation, the Church of St. Anne and the Bethesda Pool. The photo below shows the Bethesda Pool. This pool is famous because Jesus Christ performed a miraculous healing on a sick person who had been lying there for 38 years.
Then, finally we went into the Church of Holy Sepulchre. We didn't have much time, so we literally ran through this huge Church. This place is said to have been Mt. Golgotha. that is, where Jesus Christ was crucified. The Church of Holy Sepulchre is huge and the inner structure is very complicated. Each denomination of Christianity has its own section in the church. Many different sects gather together joining in a building.
We happened to meet a Japanese Father. He belongs to the Roman Catholic church and today he is on night duty.
I explained to the Father about the Ceremony to Send Love and Thanks to Water we are planning to hold on July 25, 2003, by the Sea of Galilee, and asked him to join us. He said he will be in Israel until July, so we will meet again.
At the entrance of the Church of Holy Sepulchre, a bishop was sitting wearing the formal costume of Orthodox Christianity. I was feeling I had met him before, somewhere during the International Symposium on Religion, Science and Environments that was held on a luxurious passenger ship sailing on the Adriatic Sea last June. This symposium was sponsered by His All Holliness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, and Masaru Emoto was invited as one of the speakers. I was with him as an interpreter and assistant. We met many patriarchs and bishops there. I felt slightly that I met this bishop also during this symposium, so I dared to talk to him directly.
I found that the bishop did not speak English but only Greek and, Mickey, the lady next to him, was actually an interpreter for him. I talked with him through Mickey. His is Bishop Daniel and he is in charge of the Orthodox section of the Church of Holy Sepulchre. He actually did not attend the Symposium on the Adriatic Sea, but he wanted to know more about it. I happened to bring a Greek version of "Message from Water" with me, so I gave it to him as a present, and I explained about our Project in detail and gave them a flyer of the Project.
While I was reading a guidebook after I came back to Japan, I found his photograph and the book says that he is in charge of the whole Church of of Holy Sepulchre, too. I was very happy that I dared to speak to him.
At the last moment, Betty took us to a section of the Coptic Orthodox church. There was a narrow path extended into downstairs at the bottom of this church. We followed this path to reach the underground cave.
Going down the narrow stairway, we found a large space underground. There was water there. In the photo below only part of the cave is shown, so you don't grasp the situation well. It was a really cool and pleasant place.
We went back to the hotel, and checked out of it. Then, I did a presentation at a cafeteria of the hotel. It was for the fourth and last time for me in Israel.
The person who listened to my presentation is Robin Twyte, and he knows everything about water problem in Israel. He is a director of IPCRI Environmental Program. IPCRI means Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information. He is very active internationally too. He has been to Japan sereval times and knows very well about Japanese culture such as Genji-Monogatari and Matsuo Basho. He has just returned from Turkey this noon, but Sally asked strongly to give him the presentation about the Project. After the presentation, he said he is willing to help our Project. I was very happy to hear that.
Just after this, Ibrahim came to our hotel with a taxi driver, who is actually one of his cousin, and he took us to Hagit's house near Tel-Aviv where we were going to stay that night. His hospitality is so moving.
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