I visited Israel, on tour in about 1972.
I think all bible fans should
visit the "Holy Land" once in a lifetime.
But that's easy for me to say, being
in the US military, at the time, I caught a "hop" most of the way.
It was fun to stay
in the King David Hotel on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem.
I went for swims in
the Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea, just to say I did it.
We stopped at Jacob's well and remembered Jesus'
talk with the "woman at the well."
Roy Gustafson, our tour leader gave good
talks along the way.
Maybe it's like nostalgia or something, to think you are walking where
Jesus might have walked.
Being military, I marveled at the state of security.
Of course, this was 1972, only a few years after a serious terrorist attack on the main airport.
We deplaned down the old fashioned style mobile ramp onto the tarmac.
ramp was a military jeep with four men with guns.
I had to undress to my underwear going
I remember seeing gun barrels through the slits in the wall at Jerusalem.
They said, when they called up the reserves for the Six Day War, they got 110% -- 10% who did not have to be
there. So, the military angle was interesting.
I took military, space-available, hops
most of the way to Israel, and home again.
I caught a Texas Air National Guard KC-97 out of Navy
Dallas, with refuelling stops at Goose Bay Labrador, Reykjavik, Iceland, overnight at Mildenhall, England, and on to Athens.
The US Air Force, C-141, diplomatic courier was on take off roll as we landed at Athens.
So, I took TWA (the late great Trans World Airlines) Athens to Tel Aviv.
a "sharoot" from Tel Aviv to Netanya, about 20 miles north of Tel Aviv to meet the tour group.
A "sharoot" is a cross between a taxi and a bus -- you pay for your seat, the distance you are going.
I joined the Billy Graham Association, Roy Gustafson led, 7 day tour of Israel.
was one night early in my arrival.
I just happened to meet a Jewish man who had moved
to Israel from the U.S.
We had dinner together.
I had been looking
at a tourist map of Jerusalem, and had seen the road,"Via Dolorosa."
In complete ignorance,
I asked him the meaning of this name.
He got the most awful look on his face, and asked if I was
trying to "con him."
I absolutely assured him I certainly was not.
He decided I was honestly ignorant as to this road name meaning.
They he said, "Why,
it meant "the way of sorrow," -- the route Jesus took to the cross."
It took all
my self control to keep from grinning at that answer.
I immediately understood the reason for
his awful look at me.
I even apologized for my ignorance.
as I said, a Jew.
I changed the subject immediately and we finished up the dinner cordially,
with good conversation.