I got the opportunity to travel to Palestine for an extensive three week trip with my family following biblical historical routes and sites. My name is Jacob Habib and I am majoring in film and digital media. Some of the most memorable spots that we explored were the sight of the Sermon on the Mount, the Ein Feshkha Caves, and overlooking the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
The Sermon on the Mount sight was really interesting and I learned a lot from our guide who spoke about the history, geography and Christian parables and sayings to have a deeper understanding of the stories and of the land. He explained that the church on top of the hill is actually in the wrong location and the spot that we study lower down is more likely the actual spot. It was interesting because the location was shaped like a natural amphitheater. This location was one of the coolest because it was unimaginable just to think that I might be standing in one of the most important spots in the Bible.
The next interesting place was the Ein Feshkha Caves which was the location of where the Dead Sea scrolls were found. These scrolls are extremely imported because they are the oldest surviving manuscripts of entire books in the Bible centralizing the faith theologically and historically. This location was just so miraculously intriguing because these scrolls are what my personal religion is based off of and to see it was astounding. What was also very infringing was that there were ruins of a Jewish seminary that dates back around the same time as the scrolls.
Finally the spot that was amazing to hear about and see was the area around the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The area from the temple to the Mount of Olives is filled with barrels because of the religious significance of the area to many faiths. The Jewish people see it as the location where Solomon’s Temple once laid and the Muslim people see it as the holy place where prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. Some people believe the closer you are to this place, the easier your transition into heaven will be. It was amazing to hear about all the significance this place held but also really sad to hear all the unrest the place now holds.
I would love to travel back to explore more of authentic Palestine and how people live their daily lives.