Thursday, August 14, 2008


yesterday, we went to the place where jesus blessed the cheesemakers. then we walked along the lake1 of galilee, from the place where jesus ate a whole bunch of loaves of fishes2, all the way to the site of big J's hometown synagogue at capernacum. or at least it was the site of the synagogue before it was bashed down to make a new synagogue on top of it (which was before that one was also bashed down). this place has layers of history, but much of that history seems to involve bashing stuff down.

after that, i went on a more personal pilgrimage. almost three years ago, when i was in syria, i visited the ruins of quneitra. towering over the blasted out town was the golan heights. at the top of one peak was a series of antennas. my guide/syrian intelligence agent escort told me it was an israeli listening post. "what's that?" i asked him, pointing to the ridge right below it. "that is israeli tourists watching us," he said. so yesterday, i got to be one of those israeli tourists looking down on quneitra. it's crazy how close i was to that town, which itself is just a short trip from damascus. on the way back across golan, mrs. noz and i rode right past israeli war games.

we did not, however, see this, even though i'm guessing that it happened not far from the quneitra border crossing where we were standing. ironically, the recording at the quneitra lookout boasted about how the syrian/israeli border has been the most "incident free" border of israel since the 1973 ceasefire agreement.

1-it's not a sea if you can see the other side. which means that it was the dead lake we visited last week. seriously. calling every body of water larger than a pond a "sea" is ridiculous. chicago is not on the sea of michigan.

2-i guess fishes came in loaves then. it was the olden days.