The Thursday before last, several of us got together for a small group tour to the West Bank. It was an incredible day and I'm so glad I was able to have that opportunity. Our bus left the mountains and headed lower and lower, stopping when we reached exactly sea level for a photo shoot with a sweet baby (just a few years old) camel by the name of Shushi.
|Shushi and I sharing a laugh... clearly we love each other :)|
We continued on to Jericho with a second stop to see Zacchaeus' tree. Here is the gist of the story from Wikipedia--
, who was passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Described as a short man, Zacchaeus climbed up a sycamore fig tree so that he might be able to see Jesus. When Jesus reached the spot he looked up into the branches, addressed Zacchaeus by name, and told him to come down, for he intended to visit his house. The crowd was shocked that Jesus, a Jew, would sully himself by being a guest of a tax collector. Moved by the audacity of Jesus's undeserved love and acceptance, Zacchaeus publicly repented of acts of corruption and vowed to make restitution for them, and held a feast at his house."
This is supposedly the same tree from the story.
Jericho is both the lowest and oldest permanently inhabited city in the world. The oldest archaeological findings in Jericho date back 11,000 years. There are ruins here from all different periods and rulers, the Stone Age and the Bronze Age.
While I was impressed by the antiquities, I will be honest and admit that the fact that there was nobody to explain to us just what we were looking at, coupled with the fact that the temperature this far below sea level was easily into the triple digits, caused us to lose interest rather quickly.
West Bank Part Two coming soon!