Unfortunately I do not have any cool pictures to share with the blogging world today, but that does not take away from how cool yesterday was! After class in the morning, Stacey, Melissa, and I ventured out to West Jerusalem to get some challah bread. Challah bread is the traditional Jewish bread they have every Shabbat and it was sooo good! Every bakery in sight makes it fresh every Friday and we will definitely be returning to get more in the future
Last night we went to the Western Wall at sundown to welcome in Shabbat with all of the Jews, and it was one of the best experiences I have had since coming to Jerusalem. There were masses of people who flocked to the wall just before sunset, all dressed in their traditional Jewish uniform, to celebrate the upcoming day, and I do mean celebrate! There was dancing, singing, praying, everything! All the guys in our group linked arms with all the Jewish boys and rabbis and joined in their dance and song, but us girls had to behave ourselves, act ladylike, and watch the men dance from slits in the wall. Haha it was still great though, and they had warned us before that guys get to have all the fun! It was just an amazing atmosphere, and our group kept on saying how amazing it was for us to be there, in Jerusalem, at the Western Wall, celebrating the Shabbat with all the Jews....its unbelievable! I was sad not be able to take any pictures, but they do not allow cameras on the Sabbath because taking a picture involves making a spark of electricity, and lighting a fire is breaking the Shabbat for them. But even without a photograph, I still know that I will remember it for the rest of my life! One of the things about this night that struck me the most was just how much the Shabbat means to these people, and how they view it as something to celebrate and rejoice in. I mean, they have a huge celebration like that every single week! They are so devoted to their religion and it really does encompass every single aspect of their life. On the way home, we had an amazing conversation about how we need to be that devoted to the gospel in our lives and in our hearts, and about how blessed we really are to have the full knowledge of the gospel in our lives. I don't know what I ever did to be lucky enough to be here in Jerusalem, with the knowledge and truth that I have, but I am so so grateful for it!