Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"Why do some Jews spit on Christians in the Old City?"

Last Tuesday night I went with my friend Jennie down to the German Colony to hear a speech on "Why some Jews spit on Christians in the Old City." It was at a synagogue with the Arch Bishop of the Armenian Church, and a Catholic monk (could have been a friar). And then when I was being introduced to everyone (because my friend was the intern of the organization that was sponsoring the event), but when I was introduced to a man that was wearing a collar, I said nice to meet you Father, and he told me he was not a Father as he was a German Franciscan. It was a little uncomfortable. The entire event was very fascinating and intriguing. In a nutshell, it is mostly young yeshiva boys that are taught to spit on the ground or on anyone that is wearing a cross. A Jewish woman spoke on how the Jewish people should not be doing this as they were oppressed for years, and now this is what they are doing to another culture. It disgusts me as the Jewish people living in this land are so adamant about letting the world know how oppressed they are as a people during the Holocaust and even know, how they are oppressed by the Muslims and Arabs. It is very puzzling to me as to why someone would ever do that, especially a culture that has experienced something like this.

It was nice to be down in the German Colony that night, reminded me of Greenwich Village. It is hard being on Mount Scopus, there aren't any restaurants or anything around us, so we have to either take a bus or cab to go hang out in places. It was uplifting to see all the different restaurants and shops. :) Wednesday was St. Patrick's Day! I woke up late and forgot to wear green! Uh oh! But when we went out that night I was able to find something green to wear. Not a lot of people celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but there were a few leprechauns out! On Thursday I had to go and meet with one of my teachers from Ulpan as I needed to try and retake a test. Wagner only accepts a "C" or higher for a passing grade, and I received a "C-." I was lucky enough that I was only two points off from receiving a "C" so they just decided to change it for me. I am very thankful now that I wont have an F on my transcript. Later that afternoon I went to the grocery store as it was my night to cook. I made spaghetti with meat sauce and broccoli. It was just the guys as Effe and Aviva had other plans. It was weird that night because I thought Sarah (UCSB) was going to be in the apartment as Sarah, Aviva, and Adie were gone for the weekend, but she left a night early for Tel Aviv! So it was my first night alone in the apartment. A little scary. Katie came over and we watched a movie and then I went to bed.

Friday was a slow day. I tried to do some homework. Didn't happen. I watched two movies. I know I should be exploring, but allll of my friends were gone! Either visiting family or on a Shabbot trip! And it was really cold so I didn't want to go outside. Later that evening I went with Effe and her family to a friends house for dinner. It was delicious! There was salmon for the entree, which I'm not a fan of, but I ate a little out of respect. For desert we had a modified strawberry shortcake, and there was Ben and Jerry's ice cream! Yum! I miss the factory! Later that evening Effe and I watched a few episodes of the West Wing. Saturday I had a ton of work to do and I got it all done! Very proud of myself, later that evening we went downtown as Mike was turning 21! We went to a few bars, and I definitely stayed out too late. Ugh, I had to be in class at 8:30 on a Sunday! Usually I don't have class until 12:30, but I had to make up a class as we had to skip one for Purim. What a long day. I didn't feel too well once I came home on Sunday. Very crampy.

On Monday morning, I didn't go to Hebrew as I still wasn't feeling well. I think I had a fever on Sunday, I had the chills through the night. I did make it to my next class as we had a field trip to the Old City again. What a beautiful day out it was! It is just so interesting going down to the Old City and seeing something different each time. We saw about three Bat Mitzvah's. Watching the family's singing and dancing just shows how important this culture and religion really is. I don't think it hit me until I saw how happy the mother's and grandmother's were for the son. There is a true joy in the fact that their child is entering the world as an adult. We were down on the Southern part of the temple mount seeing the Babylonian and Umayan temples. When I sit on the stones, I'm always asking myself how on earth am I here in Israel doing something like this?It randomly hits me about how lucky I am to have an opportunity like this to study and travel in this country. That evening I was looking up information on the trip to Prague, I booked my ticket home, and had French Hill Falafel for lunch! Pretty good day :) Today Hebrew was a drag, but I am studying for a big quiz tomorrow in Hebrew. I'll pack a little later and look up more information. I'm just getting really excited about the trips over break! Next blog will be my trip about Prague! :)


  1. Great post. I really like your analysis about oppressed cultures oppressing other cultures.

  2. This is interesting, Katie Jo. I think you are now experiencing something that almost never comes up in rural NH where you were raised. We have so few minorities, we find it easier to accept how wrong racial discrimination is, without having experienced or witnessed racial discrimination, even on a small scale.

    Just as in the case of bullying, it makes no sense to us why a people who has been oppressed would choose to oppress another culture. I think it makes them think it empowers them, but really, it just brings them down to the same level as the original oppressors.