Today we visited the church of St. Peter in Jaffa. The church was an interesting experience because the it had symbols of Christianity and Judaism. For the latter a menorah was on the right side from the altar. The site’s namesake is also interesting because St. Peter was one of first people to spread the message of Christianity by sailing from the port of Jaffa, which is not far from the church. Given that history, it was easy to understand why the church is important in Christian tours of Israel. It was also quite unique to see outside of the church, Israeli flags hung. The church, the menorah, and the Israeli flags symbolized the rich history of both religions and their interaction with each other in what today called is the state of Israel. The church itself was beautifully designed and built. You can tell by the level of detail in the stain glass windows, the ceiling, and the layout of the altar.
Below is an image of inside the St. Peter’s church:
Later in the day we also visited the Carmel Market. This market was filled with different shops, vendors, restaurants and cafes. All aspects of the market reflected the various parts of Israeli society, from hummus, jewelry with the star of David, Israeli soccer jerseys to falafel. The visit to the Carmel market was truly a cultural experience for the class because not only did we eat amazing hummus, but also saw how Muslims, Jews, Americans and other tourists interacted with each other economically. For me the Carmel Market experience reflected the point of view of mutual economic benefit can achieve some kind of stability between groups of people and states. However, this point of view is challenged and complicated by Israel and Palestine’s relationship with each other and stances on important political, security, and social issues like Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, the right of return for Palestinians, and more.
Below is an image of the Carmel Market: