Israel Diary Day 7: Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee (+photos)

israel_day_7This is the seventh day in my Israel diary, where I’m attending the HP Indigo VIP Event in Tel Aviv.  See Day 1 in Tel Aviv hereDay 2 in Jerusalem and Bethlehem hereDay 3 at the HP Indigo offices in Nes-Ziona hereDay 4 at Pageflex and Caesarea here, Day 5 at the HP Indigo Plant in Kiryat Gat here, and Day 6 here.

Today, HP has arranged for two tour options: Jerusalem, or Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee.  Since I’ve already visited Jerusalem, and given that President Obama is said to be tying up significant amounts of the city and corresponding traffic, I decide to head to Nazareth and Galilee.

A fantastic tour guide leads our bus, and two Vision staff members join us for the day.  Vision is the company that HP used to facilitate the HP Indigo event.

Yonatan is our 24-year old security detail, and is tall (probably 6’3″), and armed with a pistol stuck in his Read more of this post

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Is the Christmas Story Based on a Lie?

Friends from the Middle East are some of the kindest, most accommodating and hospitable people I’ve met. I don’t know if this is true of everyone from the region, but many have told me this attitude is intentionally cultivated within their culture.

So here’s what doesn’t add up about the Christmas Story: the innkeeper’s response.

Sorry, there’s no room.  Not tonight.

Really? For a pregnant woman about to give birth?

From a culture that so highly esteems hospitality, this seems odd.

Mike Erre suggests the reason is because gossip about how Mary’s baby was conceived preceded her. In those days, her claims would have raised eyebrows and cast Jesus as a “mamzer”. The Septuagint translates the term mamzer as son “of a prostitute” and the Latin Vulgate translates it as “born of a prostitute”.

In English, it is translated as “bastard”.

So what if the town’s people (including the innkeeper) turned Mary and Joseph away, not because of a lack of space, but because they did not want to associate with a bastard?

Although there is no biblical proof for this notion, does the idea make you feel differently about the Christmas Story?

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