Daily Archives: December 13, 2010
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Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
December 11, 2010
A local church puts on an exhibit that takes you a step back in time to Bethlehem. I have studied a lot of Jewish traditions and getting to visit a reenactment of the Bethlehem of 2000 years ago is a big treat for me. My mother and my Sis “BD” and her kids “B” and “L” came with us.
Kids at the Bethlehem Sign and posing with the kings.
Kids at the Bethlehem Sign and posing with the kings.
Having the kings wandering around the place is neat and all, but, in reality, it is one of those things that is just not accurately portrayed in the world. The kings didn’t visit baby Yeshua (Jesus) in the stable, they visited the “young child” in a house (Matthew 2:11).
The kids always love the animals. Anna says, “Come here sweet pony, you should let me love you and pet you and …” The pony was totally occupied with eating it’s grain and did not pay attention to the kids what so ever. Anna said she wanted to climb the fence and jump on its back, I reminded her that her legs were too long and the pony was too short. She said she didn’t care, but she resisted the urge.
The “townspeople” was holding a large Boer goat for people to pet. Of course, I couldn’t resist an animal to scratch on. Stewart said he thought, ” No…she won’t touch the stinky goat..she knows better…..”, then yep, I touched the goat. I honestly thought, “Surely they would not bring an “intact” goat up for people to love on!” but alas, they did and now my hand smelt like a rutty ol’ billy goat. Thankfully they posted the ladies with “healing oils” to be the next on the route. Stewart let them rub so peppermint oil on his hand. As soon as I discovered the oil smelt good I rubbed my stinky hand on Stewart’s peppermint hand to help with my goat smell. It helped greatly for me, but unfortunately, some of my goaty smell rubbed off as the peppermint was transferred. Stewart was not happy about that at all.
I believe the synagogue was my favorite part. The “Rabbi” there was very informative, so much that I forgot to take pictures of it but I did snap one of Austin while we listened. The man talked about how different the meaning of words was from Hebrew to Greek. For example, the word “on” to us means like a cup sitting “on” a table, but to the Jewish people “on” means fully committed. He said unless we knew some of the history of the Bible times that we can not fully understand the meaning of the Bible. I was so pleased, that is exactly what I have been telling people. He spoke of the “Shema” and I tried to talk Anna into saying the Shema in Hebrew but she was too shy.
My sis asked me why do the Jewish people write God like G-D. I explain to her that they reverence HIM so much they do not write his name for fear of writing it wrong and having to destroy it or writing it in vain. It makes me think how far away we are compared to them. When people say “Oh My God” all the time about every little thing. We have no reverence for or fear of, GOD.
We walked past the “Inn” that had “no room” and got to pet a donkey that didn’t bite, unlike mine, who does.
We stopped at the carpenter shop where he explained the tools used and gave Adam a shaving from a stool he was making. I am not sure if Adam was thinking it was silly to have a piece of wood or if the smell of the cedar was what caused the face he made in that picture.
We walked on around to the yarn dying booth and Anna and Adam dyed a piece, being careful not to get the pomegranate juice on their clothes.
A couple years ago when we came to Bethlehem, we were intrigued by “finger-weaving” so much that when we returned home I had to look it up and we all learned to finger-weave. Adam took a keen interest in it so we took a picture beside the booth.
Next, we visited the potter’s wheel. Adam and Anna take a turn at trying to mold it into something. Watching it makes me think of the scripture:
Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
If only we would be more like the clay, to just accept the firm guidance of our master’s hand, who only wants to mold us into something beautiful, worthy of being the vessel to hold the Holy Ghost and the anointings HE bestows on us.
The music shop family played us a little tune that was actually quite good and gave each kid a flute to take home. Austin looks at me like, “Are you serious? Something noisy?” Adam takes the “rocker” pose as he blows on his flute. They were told real quick by me that they are not going to be blowing it while we were at Bethlehem.
We were getting close to the “pinkie dance” circle, I jokingly ask Austin if he was going to pinkie dance. The look was the answer to my question.
Anna checked out the feel of the grains. The little girls in the booth were talking amongst themselves when one of them did the common ” Oh My God!” saying. Quickly they tried to cover it up by saying, “God has blessed us with the baby Jesus…” I said, “Now you know, real Hebrew children would not have said that.” The looked at me like, “Ut oh.” I just smiled and moved on.
We peek through the window and look at the wedding party. My mom pointed out the Menorah in the middle of the table. Anna says, “They are supposed to set it in the window for all to see.”
“I know, but they don’t know that sweety,” was my reply.
Anna was too shy when we first arrived to do the pinkie dance. I asked her once again before we left if she wanted to. She said, “Yeah, I am in the mood now!” I asked “L” if she was going to, “If Anna will, I will.” So off they went, dragging Adam along.
I left Bethlehem feeling closer and connected this year than in years past. I know it is from all I have learned and studied and my beliefs that make me feel a sense of community.
When we returned home, my two little kids pulled out their “Hebrew” costumes and played “Bethlehem”. It makes my heart smile to see that they too, hold our beliefs dear. Anna repeated to Adam what she heard tonight, ” Shalom, have you traveled far to Bethlehem?”
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