My View For Awhile: This year, Jerusalem

I’m on my way to the Holy Land.

In the midst of the first of two layovers, the next one longish.

So far, everything is going smoothly.   Even in the psychedelic bad trip tunnel in DTW.

The blog combox has been quiet, but then again, so also have I been.

Meanwhile, my regular texters and interlocutors strive to keep me amused.

This came in.

Yes, this is another reason why we have the electoral college… now.   Which party wasn’t to eliminate the electoral college?

My next flight is in an hour.   Meanwhile, kind donation came in for the trip.  I picked up some shekels.  No, really.  I got some shekels.  While not exact, I’ll think in terms of shekels as very roughly one third of the value of the USD right now.

And so my mind finally is slowing down from the last few days and is turning to contemplate both the earthy and the heavenly Jerusalem.


Looooong layover.

Another screening before boarding but in a very crowded space.

Meanwhile, I’ve been getting updates on the dem debate.

They sound rather the same.


While boarding I’ve met some folks from the group and from another church group. Nice people.

I’m debating with myself about meals and movies. Sleep might be the best option, though I think we he circus in the front row of this section might militare against it.




About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Cy says:

    Safe pilgrimage Father Z!

    Something to keep the Combox busy:

    “The institution presently operating out of Rome under the direction of Jorge Bergoglio cannot possibly be the Holy Catholic Church, and this Francis person is most certainly not a true pope.
    There are no other choices, folks.”

  2. NBW says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip, Father!

  3. Charivari Rob says:

    Safe trip, Father!

  4. majuscule says:

    I found they would rather have US dollars when I travelled there last spring. I came home with some shekels, so of course I need to go back…

    Safe travels Father!

  5. Gab says:

    Safe travels and a fruitful pilgrimage, Father. Looking forward to your travelogues.

  6. Anneliese says:

    What are you drinking and can we all have some, please?

    [Oh yes! That’s some watered down Coke.]

  7. scoot says:

    Virginia was the California of the early days of the Republic. The electoral College existed to prevent Virginia from calling all the shots. Then somewhere around the Industrial era New York superceded it. Then California at some point. Once the liberal policies empty California into a deserted ghost-scape, then the most populous state will be some other state.

    So we can all be thankful that, at every step of the way, we had the electoral college to prevent the clowns who run [any given state] at [any given time] from dictating national policy.

    Safe travels, Fr. Z.

  8. hwriggles4 says:

    Safe travels Fr. Zuhlsdorf.

    Leading a pilgrimage takes effort too – it is definitely not vacation.

    I hope you are able to get a good nap on an Airbus A350.

  9. Diana says:

    Have fun! Looking forward to seeing your photos! Visit the Mahane Yehuda market if you can–it is truly amazing. There’s a place there that sells the most amazing halvah… although I suspect it’s amazing everywhere. :)

  10. Anneliese says:

    I feel slightly deceived by that picture, Father.

  11. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Have a good pilgrimage, Fr. Z!

  12. ElenaC says:

    Every airport needs a tunnel like DTW.

    God bless!

  13. Diane says:

    God Bless You Father. I’m praying for a happy, holy and safe trip for you and your comrades in the Holy Land. Please share the things that amaze you, and bring you to tears. Wish we could all go with you! Please pray for us all.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Ah yes, the Mahane Yehuda market, good recommendation.

    In the Old City of course the Holy Sepulchre and Via Dolorosa take priority. However, if one walks in through the Damascus Gate about a hundred yards then takes a left onto, I think, Sheikh Rihan St. (more of a narrow, cobblestoned alley), a few yards down on the left you’ll see a green door. It’s unlocked. Down the stairs in a stone cellar probably dating to the First Crusade is the best pizza in Jerusalem (the ingredients are B, the atmosphere is A. They also bake bread for local residents and schools).

    This place probably has a name, beats me, but it’s known as The Green Door (say “al-bab al-akhdar” to an urchin, give him a shekel, and off you go). The Green Door has two kinds of pizza: meat or no-meat. Atmosphere: catacomb-ish, smoky, warm. Chefs: One standing in a pit before a stone oven, the other usually dispensing free tea and chatter (in multiple visits sometimes they have a great sense of humor in English and Arabic, sometimes they’re in a contemplative yet conversational mood). Clientele: who the heck knows sometimes.

    A few hundred yards inside the Jaffa Gate there’s a Suq, “sook,” or bazaar. Sure, kind of touristy compared to the bazaars near the Damascus Gate used by locals, but the Suq inside the Jaffa Gate has plenty of little treasures.

    The parry-and-thrust of haggling is highly encouraged and should be entered into with a spirit of adventure, a raised eyebrow at the dubious nature of the object for sale, and a dash of good humor. Most shopkeepers (there’s always a few taciturn ones) will offer a glass of tea if you’re considering a reasonably big purchase, maybe even produce a few chairs to sit and contemplate the day’s commerce for a while. (The Call to Prayer may delay that commerce for a few minutes- adds to the atmosphere.)

    Sometimes a shopkeeper, or his “brother” who emerges from a back room with a flourish of curtain, might mention they have a cousin in Detroit. Here’s where the fun really gets going. They may actually have a cousin in Detroit, or they may not. So, to see what’s up, you respond: “Hey! My grandpa was almost the Mayor of Detroit, how ’bout 75% off?!” Anyway, wandering through the bazaars and drinking tea with shopkeepers is one of the pleasures of Middle East travel.

    Speaking of the Jaffa Gate, in 1898 when Kaiser Wilhelm I entered the Old City on horseback wearing a spiked helmet the Ottoman authorities had to first remove part of the gate so His Majesty would fit. In 1917 when Gen. Allenby entered, the General more aware than the Kaiser regarding the New Testament, he and his staff simply walked in.

  15. Julia_Augusta says:

    I spent the last 2 months in Israel. I hope you have a lovely trip.
    A few food tips:
    Machneyuda market in Jerusalem has a lot of good small restaurants. There is a restaurant called Azura in Jerusalem with amazing kubbe soup. Azura also has a restaurant in Tel Aviv.
    The Carmel market in Tel Aviv has great food. I recommend two places: Mitch for terrific Romanian kebab ( get fresh garlic sauce on the side) and M25 (very good meat kebabs and grill, especially lamb).
    Fresh juices available everywhere in small kiosks. Pomegranate juice is fantastic.
    Tel Aviv restaurants: Igrarama; LaShuk (on Dizengoff Square); Hakosem (falafel)
    Jaffa: Abu Hassan (breads, hummus) and the best knafeh (a dessert) is at Jaffa Knafeh.

    Not sure if you are celebrating Mass in Jaffa. But the church of St. Peter is quieter than the church of St. Anthony, assuming you have a choice. Alas, at both churches on Sunday the English mass is a guitar mass run by Filipino maids. There is no TLM in Israel except the Dominican Rite on Sundays at the Austrian Hospice chapel (also worth a visit when you’re in Jerusalem).

  16. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Praying and hoping you have a safe, fruitful, restful pilgrimage (and safe return) Padre . . .will be bringing those intentions to Mass & the Rosary this morning.

    Concerning your comment , “The blog combox has been quiet, but then again, so also have I been,” . Is it possible you might be partially responsible for this ? After all, you are the one who counsels us to “Preview before posting and THINK before posting.”

    The current absence of material in the combox just might mean that more of us are thinking (not such a bad thing) – or even better, that some of us are thinking more.

    About a week before Lent begins – a good time to be regrouping.

    Vale, Padre.

  17. Grant M says:

    Ah nostalgia. I was in Jerusalem 37 years ago, 18 years before I was received into the Catholic Church. I was travelling by bus from Cairo to Jerusalem. A scruffy 25 year old, I was held up at the Israeli border for so long that the bus left without me. I got a ride on a shared taxi to East Jerusalem, where the driver dropped me off at a cheap hotel.

    The next day I wandered down the road from the hotel, and suddenly there in front of me were the walls of the old city and the Damascus Gate.Soon after, I moved to a hostel in the Old City, near the 3rd station of Via Dolorosa and run by a cheerful young Palestinian. I stayed there several times during my extended stay in Israel. Sometimes I would sleep on the rooftop. From there the Temple Mount seemed only a stone’s throw away; you felt you could stretch out your hand and touch the golden Dome of the Rock.

  18. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Hope you had a good Israeli day, Fr. Z!

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