We had our first concert at a charming mountaintop monastery this afternoon. The bus wound its way upward through groves of olive trees and freshly plowed fields. The monastery houses both monks and nuns who cultivate and sell olives for pressed on site olive oil. They also sell honey and spices. The monastery has become a place of rejuvenation for many Jewish people to get away from their busy lives. It was such a calming place, far up on the hill overlooking the rush of the city below; gorgeous bougainvillea, stately conifers and olive trees, and bunches of herbs growing all over increased the restful feeling.
The chapel was small and narrow, and filled to capacity with curious Hebrews and members of our group. They seemed to enjoy the songs, judging by the enthusiastic applause. It seems that Hava Nagila will be a favorite of our audiences. It’s dancing music!
From Beit Jamal (the monastery) we left for Be’er Sheva, where Abraham made a covenant with Abimelech about the well. Even though we knew that this particular well was not the one that Abraham dug, or the nearby Tamarisk tree the one that he planted, it was still very poignant to sit beside them and hear teaching from Abraham’s life. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures available to show you.
Joe taught the blood covenant story and Katherine read to us from Abraham’s life. What would have happened had Abraham been patient and waited for for God to fulfill His promise instead of making it happen? how different would the story of the Middle East be today?
We descended into the water storage area under the city where we sang a few songs. There was a group from South America who heard us, and wanted another song, so we sang a choir song for them when we were all above ground once more.
We climbed aboard the bus again and dropped to 1,300 feet below sea level to the Dead Sea. It is quite warm, almost oppressive here, but a soak in the Sea was very relaxing and healthy as Katherine informed us. Hopefully we’ll all be rejuvenated for a big hike tomorrow. Pray for us, as several people have been afflicted with some kind of stomach illness.