A Spiritual Dagger
This whole trip can be summed up as a giant “Spiritual Dagger”.
A friend on the trip mentioned this in passing and it finally put words to everything I was feeling.
We arrived in Ben-Gurion Airport Friday afternoon, and began the trip celebrating Shabbat together. We stayed in a beautiful hotel and participated in some traditional Shabbat things like blessings over wine and bread. And later we had an Oneg (a fun chill night with some food).
The next morning we woke up, walked down to the Sea of Galilee, and heard all about the religious significance to Christianity while dipping our feet in and trying our hardest to walk on water.
We woke up Sunday morning and visited Mount of Beatitudes. When we walked into the Church everyone was moved, whether religious, secular, Christian, or not. There was an overall feeling of spirituality that was felt by all. Some members got up and read passages from Matthew and spoke about what being up there and being in the Church meant to them. People shared stories about themselves and their pasts. People spoke about what they wanted in their future. And others sat there speechless, holding space.
A few days later, we were in Jerusalem. We spent the day visiting holy sites. We went up to the Temple Mount and as our group went to hear about the historical and religious significance, three members of our group left and went to pray in Al-Aqsa Mosque and then went into the Dome of the Rock. It was beautiful to see them coming back to join the group with tears down their faces. They never thought that they would ever be able to be there, and there they were.
A few days later, it was Friday night again. We went to the Western Wall to pray. As we walked in and welcomed Shabbat, the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer went off. I went to the Egalitarian section of the Western Wall, wrapped myself in my Talit (the traditional Jewish-Religious garb worn during prayer) and just began to cry.
I cried and cried and cried.
I couldn’t believe all that I saw and felt from one Shabbat to the next. I realized how important a small piece of land was to so many religions. But not just to the religions as a whole. I realized how important it was to all of my friends; to the amazing people I spent 10 days with; to the beautiful souls that came into my life in a span of a little over a week.
I didn’t cry because I was sad. I cried because I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do with the knowledge and with all the “Spiritual Daggers” that plunged right into my soul on this amazing journey.
There I was celebrating Shabbat, praying my Friday night prayers, hearing a different religions call to prayer. We were all praying at that moment, Jews and Muslims, we were all talking to our respective Higher Powers.
I realized then, wrapped in the protection of my prayer shawl hearing a different call to prayer, that we might not have an answer right now for how to live in full peace, and we may not have an answer for a while, but we are all human. I respected my friends prayers, they respected mine, and we can just live in our spirituality and respect that and each other.
We all may have had different moments that we connected to, different “Spiritual Daggers” that hit us along the journey, but almost all of us had them and we were all able to respect and hold space when someone got hit with one. And for that I will forever be grateful to The David Project for; for providing the opportunities and letting us truly feel and connect to what mattered to us.