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If on your first trip to Israel you could see only one site, which would
you choose?

Last week on short notice I found that I could fly with Ernest on a
working trip to Israel.  One of the perqs of being married to a flight
attendant is the spousal travel rate.

Since we would be there only one full day, we focused on Jaffa (a.k.a
Joppa). It's the city on the hill in the distance at
http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/gallery/jaffa01.jpg and on the hill behind
me at  http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/gallery/jaffa02.jpg   The beach
pictured on the Mediterranean is in Tel Aviv, which has Israel's major

We  wanted to visit the house of Simon the Tanner (Acts 9:43).  That's
where God offered Peter a sheet full of "delights" while Peter napped on
the rooftop.  That revelation broke through four millennia of strict taboo
to proclaim, "Call not unclean anything that I have made."

A building in modern Jaffa is called the home of Simon the Tanner (Simon
Bursekai) --  http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/gallery/simon_jaffa.jpg) --
but it's not old enough to have been there during apostolic times.  Some
speculate it's on the spot of the original.

Nearby is St. Peter's Catholic Church..  See
http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/gallery/stpeter01.jpg. Ernest and I were the
only visitors while we were at each place.

Above the altar at St. Peter's  is a painting of Peter before the sheet of
"delights"  -- http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/gallery/stpeter02.jpg and

Centuries before Peter was there, Jonah, my favorite prophet, did time in
Jaffa, before he set out to avoid Nineveh.  Ernest and I know leviathans,
and kept a close watch for one in the sunset as we returned to our hotel:

As our African sisters and brothers remind us, God is good ALL THE TIME.
As far as the East is from the West, so far has he placed from us our
transgressions, known and unknown, things done and left undone.   Grace is
amazing still.

Call not unclean anyONE whom God has made.


L., Newark deputy, Member of Executive Council

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