Monday 18 March 2019

We left the airport at 9:42.  Fr. Roman talked in Russian the whole time.  Thank God that Natallia translated for me.  Otherwise, I would had been completely lost.

Our first trip was to Jaffa, Joppa, an ancient place where Russian people used to arrive.  It has become a dangerous place for ships.  It is the city of Peter who resurrected Tabatha here.  Jesus probably was not here.

Jaffa means "beautiful" in Hebrew.  The names of cities in Hebrew are always feminine.  This city is named after one of the three sons of Noah.  Noah built his ark here.  A part of the ark is in the church of Saints Peter and Paul.  It was found in some mountain.

The second time that Jaffa is mentioned in the Old Testament is in the book of Jonah.  The prophet is not the person who predicts the future, but a person who hears his God and tell people what to do.

The third time is in relation to King Solomon who conquered more land and Jaffa was one of them.  He built a ship yard there and the Hebrews started to sail, but it didn't last long.

The Jerusalem Patriarchate is the main Church here.  The other jurisdictions are secondary.

A part of Jaffa is mixed.  Originally it was Arabic.  They belong to different nations.  Today half of the population of Jaffa speaks Arabic and half Hebrew. 

There are twelve streets and they are called by zodiac signs.  This is an expensive city in which to live.

This land is in the middle between all these countries.  Many roads cross here.

St. Peter's church is where Tabatha is buried.  It was a lent and Jewish lent or fast is very strict.  They might have it one to seven days.  Peter was keeping the fast and did not feel well and went up on the roof to pray and saw the vision of food, non-kosher food.  It was what was forbidden for Jews to eat.

Before this vision all Christians were Jews and didn't think that gentles could be Christians.  And now this centurion wants to be baptized.  He was a pagan and wants to be a Christian.  He was looking for somebody to baptize him.

There are 12 Russian churches and six Russian monasteries in Israel.

Israel is neither Africa nor Asia.  The Ural Mountains are the boundary between Europe and Asia.
 

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Downtown Jaffa with Fr. Roman

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To Rome.

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To Jerusalem. From here it is two hours by car to Lebanon and two ours to Jerusalem. After Jerusalem is Iraq, four hours.

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The gate to the Promised Land

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Bishop Mefodius. My Russian came in handy here.

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Our hotel

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Tis is my first meal in the Holy Land.

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