The pressing questions for me as I wandered the gardens of the museum after walking through its exhibits were: "What is the meaning this remembrance must impart to future generations? What does such remembrance require of us in this generation? Upon leaving Yad Vashem, we made our way to the Israel Museum." Hitler rose to power as part of a political process. There we overlooked the incredible model (50:1) of the city of Jerusalem as it existed in 66 CE.

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It gave him hope that there would be peace and reconciliation in the land one day--but not without courageous leadership on all sides and mutual trust.

It was a wonderful and hope-filled conversation even as he acquainted us again wth the deep complexities of the contemporary situation.

After the meal, we lingered and shared reflections of our experiences of the trip.

All agreed, it was a phenomenal trip: the encounter with the land; the connection of events and people of the Bible to actual places and landscapes; the amazing expertise of our guide, Steve Notley, who made ALL those connections possible; the encounter with the contemporary tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians; the experience of being in the Old City--the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre....); and finally, the way the group functioned so well together.

The Jewish group overtook Masada in 66 BCE and inhabited it as a place of refuge and resistance.

It took many, many months before the Romans succeeded in taking the mountain.After returning that afternoon, Steve and I had the opportunity to have dinner with Estephan Salameh--the person we met with on Thursday who is a primary policy adviser to the Prime Minister in the Palestinian Authority...a fellow Christian.At one point in our conversation, he spoke of how much he has gained of late from his reading of a book by Martin Luther King, Jr.Which is why places like Yad Vashem are so crucial.What is incomprehensible, unthinkable soon becomes unbelievable.It is a city that is disrupted often by violence between Jews and Palestinians.