Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break, Building, Over-reacting and Einstein

Sorry that we haven't posted in a while, we've both been extremely busy. Well that's over for now, I'm on Spring Break for the next month. It's a much needed break, this year has been pretty tough for me (us). It's a combination of factors that causes this feeling - and it's not awful - but it's not where it should be either. Either way, this next month should give me time to recharge and finish up strong when the guys come back for the last 8 weeks of the school year.

Just this week something pretty cool happened in Jerusalem!
The Hurva Synagogue, which if you've been to Jerusalem in the past 40 years you've seen this great arch in the middle of the Old City, has been rebuilt.

This synagogue was destroyed in 1948 by the Jordanian Legion, and was the largest building in Jerusalem at the time. It was monumental in many aspects. For the past 40 years this arch has commemorated this building. For the past four years there has been construction in the Jewish Quarter rebuilding it. As, you can see below it is now complete with the opening ceremonies happening this week. I went to go take a look today, it is awesome to see completed; Naomi and I will go back in a few weeks when she has some time and head up top to get a panoramic view of the city.
Well, all has not gone well for the Dedication. Apparently, rebuilding a Synagogue in the middle of the Jewish Quarter has been seen has an attack on the Dome of the Rock. I'm not quite sure how the logic makes any sense, but a wave of Palestinian riots have happened in parts of the city (I haven't seen anything - even when I was in the Old City today). As you can see from these articles, Hamas sees it as an attack against their faith, that we "planned a raid on the compound following the synagogue rededication" says a Palestinian Judge, that it's part of a planned ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem. Some Arab members of the Knesset are saying this could lead to a Third Intifada. Honestly, I just don't see it.

Life is interesting everywhere, sometimes very interesting in Israel. It seems to me that this is in a long line of the leaders of the Arab community taking any Israeli reaction to the extreme and calling on the populace to overreact - we saw this in 1948, 1967, 2001, among others and again now. I don't think that this will last and in a week it will all be forgotten.

In happy news, if you're coming to Jerusalem in the next month, Hebrew University has Einstein's original manuscript for the Theory of Relativity (e=mc^2) on display for the first time ever. Pretty cool.

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