Friday, June 5, 2009

First Friday in Israel

Today was our last day of digging for the week. I lost some of the steam that I had yesterday. Unfortunately, Rami asked me to leave Elizabeth's group to go join "A West," saying that Elizabeth's site was too crowded. I reluctantly complied. I didn't find my new site nearly as interesting. Elizabeth had been teaching us poems and songs, which honestly, I wouldn't have known existed. Her favorite was Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit...which goes something like: Run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run... Don't give the farmer his fun fun fun! He'll get by without his rabbit pie, so run rabbit run rabbit run run run. She had all of us singing. We didn't find very much today at our site, but we had fun digging nonetheless.

I'm not sure what we're doing tonight. I know we're having a special Sabbat dinner, which is supposed to be a bit more formal... Some people from the other groups are planning to climb Mt. Arbel this evening, but I think we've decided to try next weekend. I know that I can be very afraid of heights, but'll be fun. I still have dirt on my arms from digging. It makes me look like I have a nice tan going. Tomorrow is going to be so busy. We're starting at six in the morning and then we'll be gone all day long, touring ancient sites.

We do have lectures every evening - last night's lecture was an overview of the Crusades in the Middle East. A woman we know as "Kate" is an expert on medieval architecture - she recently finished her doctorate at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I thought I was already well versed on the basics of the Crusades, but I hadn't really been familiar with fortifications in Israel. I love her voice. Interstingly, scholars back in the day had come to believe that fortifications in the Middle East were positioned to defend borders, but in actuality they were placed wherever trade was lucrative or the land was fertile - it didn't really have anything to do with defending frontiers or laying out borders between kingdoms.

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