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The Church of the Nativity  in Bethlehem. It is located in an area controlled by Palestine.  For additional info go to: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/bethlehem-church-of-the-nativity

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Our final stop was in Jerusalem.  This city has changed hands more often than a used dollar bill with all three major religions claiming it as their center.  For more info go to: http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Tourist%20Information/Discover%20Israel/Cities/Pages/Jerusalem.aspx

A view of Jerusalem from The Mount of Olives. Gethsemane is located at the front of the photo at the bottom of the hill.

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The prominent features here are the city wall, the Dome of the Rock "gold dome"
and the expressway that runs around the city outside the wall.

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The building with the blue domes is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The purported site of Christ's tomb.

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The Western Wall
 
This wall surrounded the Temple built by King Solomon. It is not actually a part of that temple. For additional info go to:  http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/Western_Wall.html

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A dichotomy of beliefs.  The Western Wall, the most sacred place to Jews and the Dome of the Rock, one of the most sacred places of Muslims where it is believed that Mohamed ascended to Haven; with a stones throw of each other, and yes, many stones do get thrown here. Remember, both Jews and Muslims, as well as Christians believe in the Old Testament. 

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A Jewish custom is to place hand written notes as petition to God in cracks in the wall.

 The Holocaust History Museum

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This museum was our last stop before heading for Tel Aviv and our flight home.  In addition to the usual metal detectors and X-ray machines, you are interviewed for and extensive period of time by a screener. You sit across from each other in chairs, no table in between. By extensive, I mean up to an hour!  You are not interrogated, you just converse, while the screener , who is extremely well trained, looks for physical or mental traits that may indicate you are a threat to aviation. It is actually an enjoyable conversation, but be sure to get to the airport 4-5 hours before your plane leaves!

Click here and you will be taken home as well - to the Home page of this site.