Archive for April 2019


Much enjoyed Israel in April 2019 with the perfect host, Emanuel Milman, who invited me to give a series of lectures in Haifa at Technion and showed me good restaurants, Akko, and the beach. I spent my third week in Jerusalem at the Imperial Hotel in the Old City, right inside Jaffa Gate. My first explorations took me down narrow cobblestone streets to what Constantine’s mother Helena identified as the spot where Jesus was crucified and buried; she had the Church of the Holy Sepulchre build around it. I similarly loved the alternative Garden Tomb site, attended a Good Friday service there, and entered the tomb (Photo 1). I also loved the Wailing Wall (Photo 2), resolved to overcome suffering, and inserted a slip of paper in a crack. On the other side is the Temple Mount, site of the Solomon’s Temple (destroyed by the Babylonians), Nehmiah’s rebuilding (destroyed by the Romans), and currently two Muslim mosques (Photo 3). The Garden of Gethsemane is nearby (Photo 4). Not far outside the current walls is the City of David, where I ventured through Hezekiah’s long, low, narrow, pitch-dark water tunnel, with the water up to 2-1/2 feet deep, to the Pool of Siloam. I also enjoyed playing bridge in Haifa (at the Carmel Club) and in Jerusalem (at the Bridge Center and once at Wizo). Afterwards I spent a week in Cairo at the Grand Royal Hotel near the Nile (Photo5), on “My Undercover Mission to Find Cairo Tilings.”