Tag Archives: Peter

Sacred Sites

Sacred Sites

Today we visit several sacred sites.  We start with Capernaum, then where Jesus fed the 5,000.  From there we go see a 1st Century boat (like what Peter might have owned), Mount Tabor (the Mount of Transfiguration), and end with some good shawarma.

But first, a good breakfast…

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Kerei Deshe Breakfast

Capernaum

This is where Jesus begins calling his apostles.  This small lakeside village was the place of many miracles.

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A Monk Near the Gift Shop

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The Rules

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At the Entrance of Capernaum

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Our Group on the Shores of Galilee

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The Sea of Galilee

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Linda Putting Her Feet in the Water

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Matt and Becca on the Shores of Galilee

After Capernaum we drove a little west to where Christ would have fed the 5,000 from two loaves and five fishes.  It is also near here where the resurrected Christ came and told Peter to ‘Feed my sheep’.

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Christ Tells Peter to “Feed My Sheep”

John had a great idea.  He brought some bread and pieces of fish.  We partook and thought about that great miracle performed here over 2,000 years ago.

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John Breaks Bread Near Where Jesus Fed the 5,000 with Two Loaves and Five Fishes

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Loaves and Fishes

An Ancient Boat

We saw an ancient boat that dates back to Jesus’ time.  We couldn’t photograph the boat, but here’s a model of what it would have looked like.  All that remains today is a large portion of the hull.  It is preserved in a climate controlled room, and thus, they don’t allow photography in that room.

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Small Model of a 1st Century Galilean Boat

Mt. Tabor

This is a favorite of mine in the Holy Land.  It is here that Peter, James and John went with Jesus.  As Jesus prayed, they were witness to Elijah and Moses appearing and passing on sacred keys.

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The Group on Mt. Tabor

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A Monk Exits the Church

Dinner Time

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Linda Displays Our Bread for Our Shawarma

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Matt and Becca Photograph the Shawarma Toppings

Church Here

Church Here

Church here in Jerusalem is always a delight.  It’s funny… I’m starting to see people I know when I go to church here!  Let’s see… Jeremy (formerly of Antioch), John Howell (from Rochester), Brent Top, Gerald Lund, Jr., Dan Rona… they are who I saw today.

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John and Linda Outside the BYU Jerusalem Center

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The Halls at the BYU Jerusalem Center

After church we ventured outside.  The rain has stopped and the clouds are dramatic.

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The View from the Mount of Olives (BYU)

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The Entire Group at BYU Jerusalem Center

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At the BYU Jerusalem Center

Caiaphas’ House

We are now going to Caiaphas’ house.  This is a church built over Caiaphas’ house.  Jesus was brought to Caiaphas, the chief priest, and there he was held in the basement, whipped and scourged.  As a result, this is a sobering location.

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Looking South from Jerusalem (at Caiaphas’ House)

Under this church are a series of stone rooms where they kept the sacrificial animals.  Little did they know the man they tied was the Lamb of God.  (Here’s a good video of what happened here:  https://youtu.be/4A6usoBnqNs )

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Where He Was Held

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Mural Depicting Jesus Being Mocked

Outside Peter denied Christ three times.  Jesus had warned Peter this would happen, however, Peter did not want to accept he could do such a thing.  When the cock crowed, it was then he recognized what he had just done.  As a result, “And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

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Peter Denying Christ

What happened here wasn’t good, but it is still sacred.  Prophecies were fulfilled.

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Mural at Caiaphas’ House

While one does not need to visit Jerusalem to get closer to God.  However, visiting Jerusalem and seeing these sites will change your life.

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The Church at Caiaphas’ House

Ending Shabbat

We learned that Shabbat ends after the first star can be seen in the sky.  Because it was about to end, we made our way towards the old City to see if we could find a place to eat once the Sabbath ends.

Pictures will tell the story of our walk…

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Linda Looking Around in the Market

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Fruit is Plentiful in Jerusalem

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Matt Finds the Key

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Spices

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Fruit and Smoothies

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I Love Jerusalem

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Lightshow on the Walls

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A Men’s Clothing Shop

Late Flight

Late Flight

We have a late flight out.  And, since we have a late flight out we plan to see a couple more sites before heading to the airport.  However, we do have to have the car back by 4:00pm local time.

My day started before the sunrise walking on the beach again.  Very therapeutic and peaceful.  It is also very spiritual.

Today I wrote in the sand, “Be Still”, for three reasons.  I love the hymn Be Still My Soul.  Also, when Christ calmed the seas he said, “Peace, be still.”  Finally, the Lord tells us to “be still and know that I am God.”

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Be Still

There are a few places where you can walk and feel the spirit like this.  I’ve listed them in order of my preferences:

  1. Gethsemane (Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens)
  2. The Sacred Grove
  3. The Priesthood Restoration Site (Harmony, Pennsylvania)
  4. The Garden Tomb
  5. Mt. Tabor
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Breakfast

After another great breakfast… we headed to Capernaum – the City of Jesus.  This is where Jesus spent much of his early ministry.  However, they would not believe his words and mighty miracles.

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Capernaum

A large statue of Peter appears here with him holding keys.  While the Christ’s announcement to Peter about the keys of the kingdom took place at Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum was Peter’s home.  Here is where Christ called his apostles and told Peter he would make him a fisher of men.

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Peter

We left Capernaum and headed across the country to Caesarea on the coast.  This is the city where Paul spent time in prison.  It is a beautiful example of Roman architecture in the 1st Century.  What is left of a large aqueduct parallels the beach of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Aqueduct

We exhausted our time at Caesarea and headed to Tel Aviv to return our car.  When we got the the airport, we followed the signs of rental returns but ended up in a parking lot.  As we exited, we pushed the “help” button and asked, “Where do we go to return our rental car.”

A loud outburst of laughter was heard across the speak.  They were probably thinking, “Dumb Americans.”

We eventually found the car return and headed into the terminal.  We were so early they wouldn’t let us check our bags and there we sat and waited for hours.  The funny thing is, it was the start of the Sabbath and most of the concession were closed.  In fact, there were four lingerie shops in a row and all four were closed for the Sabbath.  Something about that just seems comical.

 

Another Turns 30

Another Turns 30

Today, another turns 30.  Yes, another one of my children has turned 30.  It’s making me feel old.  I’ll get over it.

We joked back and forth about how she has now passed me up.  (I’m 29, I told her, but she wasn’t buying it.)  In reality, the last few months she has been 1/2 my age, but not any more.

Happy Birthday Amber!

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Amber

We had quite a crowd at church today.  The Young Single Adults in the area are having their conference this weekend, so many of them were attending our Sacrament Meeting this morning.

—–

After church I made a chicken dish for the missionaries. It’s quite easy and tasty.  Here’s the recipe…

1 boneless chicken thigh per person, pounded thin, coated with buttermilk or plain yogurt, and then coated with flour seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, marjoram, paprika, oregano, and then pan-fried in oil.

Cover the fried chicken with a scoop of hot marinara sauce, top with a slice of provolone cheese and garnish with slices of cooked, sweet, Italian sausage.

I guess you could have pasta with it, but I served it with salt potatoes (a regional classic around here.)

After dinner, I took a few pictures of the missionaries with Elizabethe in the garden.  These will be submitted to create.lds.org.

 

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Missionaries Helping Pull a Few Weeds

Our next stop was Rochester for a fireside with Dan Rona.  Dan is from the Tribe of Judah (i.e. a Jew) and he is also a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I’ve known about Dan for decades.  It was nice to finally meet him and hear him speak, especially after having been to Israel.

While I was hoping for more pictures and discussion about places and events, I was pleased with his details about Jewish customs.  I love how he put the following (and I’m summarizing)…

  • Jews believe the priesthood has been lost and needs to be restored (they are waiting for a Messiah ben Joseph)
  • Catholics believe the priesthood was never lost (i.e. the keys were passed to Simon when Christ announced he was Peter (the rock) and upon him the church would be established)
  • Mormons believe it was lost and has been restored (the keys were lost after the apostles of old were killed, and then restored by Peter, James and John to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery)
  • Protestants don’t believe it is needed (many say they receive authority from the Bible)

While I’ve often looked at the difference between the Catholics, Protestants and Mormons,  I’ve never included the Jews in that list… until tonight.

Israel Day 8 – The Sabbath Day

Today is the Sabbath Day here in Jerusalem.  Or Sabot (shaw-bot) as they call it.  It is very quiet and the streets are quite empty.  Last night, devout Jews made their way to synagogue.  Their Sabbath will continue until sunset tonight.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Likewise, Latter-day Saints here in Israel honor the Sabbath day by going to church on Saturday.  We did likewise and headed to the BYU Jerusalem Center for Sacrament Meeting.

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BYU Jerusalem Center (left) and Old Jerusalem (right)

The building where we attended Sacrament Meeting has these large arches that frame old Jerusalem.  The arch style fits the architecture of the city and the building definitely enhances the Mount of Olives.

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Building Side that Faces Old Jerusalem

We headed in to Sacrament Meeting and there were greeted by several BYU students who are studying there.  It was not a large congregation and is a branch (not a ward).  Today is Fast Sunday, so we got to hear many testimonies.

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Heading in for Sacrament Meeting

For my LDS friends and family… Imagine singing Redeemer of Israel as the opening hymn while over looking the walls of old Jerusalem.  Imagine partaking of the sacrament on the same mount where Christ paid the ultimate price for our sins in Gethsemane.  (Yes, I could look out the windows to my left and see the area near Gethsemane.)

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Looking Towards Gethsemane from the BYU Center

It was a moving and touching experience.

With our luggage in tow, we headed to Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee.

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Capernaum

Capernaum is an important location in the life of Jesus.  It was also the home of Peter.  It was here where Jesus was questioned regarding paying tribute to Cesar.  It was here where Jesus performed many miracles.  It was here that Jesus called Peter, Andrew, John and James.  It was here he cast out the unclean spirits from a man.  But, it was also here that he cursed, as he said,

23 And thou, Capernaum, which art aexalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to bhell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of aSodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.

A fair warning as also given in the Book of Mormon:

14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.

Nonetheless, Capernaum was an exciting place to visit.  They have unearthed Peter’s home and, of course, built a church over it with a glass floor where you can look below and see the home.

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Peter and the Keys of the Priesthood

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Synagogue at Capernaum

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The Sea of Galilee

Each cooing dove and sighing bough,
That makes the eve so blessed to me,
Has something far diviner now,
It bears me back to Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

Each flowery glen and mossy dell,
Where happy birds in song agree,
Through sunny morn the praises tell
Of sights and sounds in Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

And when I read the thrilling lore
Of Him Who walked upon the sea,
I long, oh, how I long once more
To follow Him in Galilee.

O Galilee, sweet Galilee,
Where Jesus loved so much to be,
O Galilee, blue Galilee,
Come sing thy song again to me.

— Each Cooing Dove (Memories of Galilee) by H. R. Palmer

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Fishermen on the Sea of Galilee

When I walked down to the water, I saw these fishermen.  Being the joker that I am, I wanted to yell out, “Try the other side,” but I didn’t.  It was nice seeing how close they were to the shore.  When you read the scriptures how Jesus yelled out to those in the boat, it is hard to imagine being able to yell loud enough for someone to hear you unless you were close to the shore.  Sure enough, these guys were catching fish close to the shore, and with a boat that small, I wouldn’t venture too far away from the shore.

Yes, the sea (lake… it isn’t that big) was calm.  However, a few hours later, the winds came up and this calm sea turned in to a raging white-capped terror.

Our next stop was the area where the Sermon on the Mount was preached.  These terraced hills were home to one of the most impactful sermons of all time, where Christ taught the beatitudes.

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Sermon on the Mount Area

A church built on the shore is dedicated to the beatitudes.  Beautiful gardens surround this church, and many had come to worship and reflect.  There is a special spirit here.

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Sermon on the Mount Church

Matt pointed out that the beatitudes were given in three parts.  (I looked it up, and it covers three chapters in Matthew.)  Each chapter covers a higher level of teaching and enlightenment.

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Sermon on the Mount Area

It has been a long day, and the sun is about to go down and we began searching for an open restaurant where we could break our fast.  We finally found a “sushi” place that also sold other foods.  I went for the lamb kebabs.  Came dessert time, the sound of this decadent dessert sounded too good to pass up.  Matt and I ended up splitting one.

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Dessert – Waffle with Dolce de Leche, Whipped Cream, Ice Cream and Pecans

We then headed to our hostel where we’ll spend tonight and tomorrow night.  This is a nice, clean place right on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to accommodations on the thrifty side.

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Our Hostel

 

Israel Day 4 – The Garden Tomb

Yesterday I forgot to mention we tried to find the Garden Tomb. Well, we found it, but we couldn’t find where to park. So, today we went back with renewed determination to find it.

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The Garden Tomb (believed to be THE tomb)

Located in a Palestinian area of town, the Garden Tomb has all the archeological signs that it was the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed when they removed it from the cross.  I won’t repeat all the information they have on their web site.  You can find it here:  http://gardentomb.com/

Our tour guide, Norm Derkson, was great.  This Canadian minister and his wife are serving at the Garden Tomb for a few months.  Norm was great because he pointed out the importance of seeking the resurrected Savior.  He repeated often, “He is not here; He is risen.”

I felt this to be a special place.  It somewhat saddened me that Golgotha is now the backdrop for an urban bus station, and topped with a wall and a tank. (if you look near the center top you can see a military tank just to the right of the obtuse corner.)

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Golgotha

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The Door They Added

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Inside the Tomb

The painted cross was added, probably by the crusaders.  Letters XC means “Christ” (short for ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ).  Alpha and Omega are also shown – a name for the Savior.  YC for Yesu Christo.  Perhaps these ancients recognized this as the tomb of Jesus Christ.  Again, we don’t know, but all of the pieces of the puzzle come together at this location:  Golgotha, outside the city wall, a tomb of a rich man, a tomb in a garden, the body’s resting place to the right as you enter the sepulcher, a sepulcher meant for permanent rest, and not one where they remove the bones and place them in a box later, a track for a very large stone to seal the door, etc.

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A Panoramic View of the Tomb Area

 

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Our Group Outside the Tomb (Thank You Norm)

After visiting the Garden Tomb, we continued on to Absalom’s, Jehosephat’s and Zacharais’ tombs.  They are at the base of the Mount of Olives along a path that leads to the City of David near the Pool of Siloam.

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Absalom’s Tomb

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Jehosephat’s Tomb

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Zacharias’ Tomb

We then crossed the street (Road to Jericho) and went to the traditional Garden of Gethsemane.  I found it interesting that I felt a stronger spirit near the entrance to the Orson Hyde Memorial Gardens.  Although beautiful and interesting, it isn’t so much important as to whether this is the actual place of the atonement, but that the atonement is real.

39 ¶And he came out, and went, as he was awont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into atemptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, aremove this cup from me: nevertheless not my bwill, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an aangel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an aagony he prayed more earnestly: band his sweat was as it were great drops of cblood falling down to the ground.

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Me at the Garden

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Outside a Garden of Well Maintained Olive Trees

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Inside the Church at the Garden of Gethsemane

We obviously didn’t travel based on the time-line of our Savior’s last week.  Although that would be a fun thing to do, we visited the sites based on convenience and location.  Our next stop would be Caiaphas’ house.

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Church Erected Over Caiaphas’ House

It is believed that it was here where Peter denied being one of Christ’s followers.

54 ¶Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the ahall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.  58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.  59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilæan. 60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.  61 And the aLord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

 

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Peter Denies the Christ

It was hear where Jesus stood before the high priest Caiaphas and they took him to a pit under the house.

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The Pit

Our next stop was a church built where the “upper room” would have been.  No, this is not the same building.  In fact, the city of Jerusalem where Christ would have been is several feet below the modern city.  Remember, Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times.  However, it is believed it would have been in this general area.

 

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The “Upper Room”

 

 

 

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Church of the Holy Sepulcher

 

 

 

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Kosher Pizza (No Meat with Cheese!)

 

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Aladdin Shopped Here

 

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Spices