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The Holy City
By: Edgar Martin del Campo

As soon as I had seen the Old City of Jerusalem, I knew that I would write my next essay on it. It would seem natural for a seminary student to reflect on one of the most important places in the history of monotheistic religion. Ultimately, it felt most appropriate to work with my first impressions of the religious sites within the Old City.

Our group first entered the Old City on Friday evening. We had arrived in time to witness the onset of the Sabbath at the Western Wall, where rabbis and lay people had come from across the world to pray. I was quickly moved by the strength of their devotion, one which had lasted for over three thousand years because of the value of their covenant. 

The next day continued our tour, beginning with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Its doors led almost immediately into a vast network of hallways and staircases, each ending in an altar or chamber with its own distinct meaning. Each of the lavishly decorated quarters had a character and sacredness of its own. 

Later that day, we also visited the Al-Aqsa mosque, highlighted by the Dome of the Rock. This was one of the single most beautiful shrines I have ever seen. It is by all means a worthy monument to one of Islam's most sacred sites. 

Visiting the Old City ended up being my favorite part of the weekend. Given the holy sites alone, I could have spent a whole day touring them all and pausing to meditate. Jerusalem is the "City of Peace"; I think these are the sites that merit the name. 

The heavenly falafel at Abu Shukri is another stop on the tour of the Old City's holy sites

Israeli Students on the tel
By: Tslil Censor

Welcome to our little corner of the site. Here you can find information on various team members, as well as some of the accounts and experiences we have had here so far. This section mainly deals with the 'human element', rather than the scientific aspects of the dig. However, it does contain professional background information of some of the team members which pertains to the field of Archeology, as well as other fields associated with Middle Eastern studies. We hope you find this section of the sight informative and interesting. 

The richness and abundance of the finds in such a small area such as the state of Israel makes it a choice target for grave robbers and pottery thieves. In order to prevent such criminal acts, and assure the preserving of the site as well as the integrity of the dig, a special digging license must be obtained. Such a license is usually given under strict compliance with various terms regarding the site itself, as well as the surrounding vicinity of the site. The National Park bureau is also involved, providing guidance in all aspects concerning preservation of the Tel landscape, and pollution issues associated with a relatively large group of people acting in the field for an elongated period of time. Care must be taken to keep landscape changes due to gravel spillage etc. at a minimum. All waste products must be carried off the Tel at the end of each work-day, keeping human impact on the grounds at a minimum. It is important to realize that the principal of 'minimal impact' both during the actual digging process as well as movement on the Tel, is highly critical, since any particular excavation of a site, is merely another leaf in the history of the place. 

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is located in Beer-Sheva in the Northern Negev region of Israel. The University is one of the five major academic establishments in the country, offering higher education in Humanities, technology, and life sciences. 

About the team: The Israeli team is rather versatile regarding it's members. Most of us are B.A. and M.A students from Ben-Gurion University. This dig is an educational dig as part of our studies. Most of us come from the Dept. of Archeology, All of us from the Faculty of humanities. For some, this is actually the first dig ever. However, there are some team members who have prior digging experience both Classical, as well as Prehistoric digs in the country. Special thanks are due to the first group from Ben-Gurion University who toiled for two long weeks prior to the team members mentioned here. 

For personal profiles see our "Ben Gurion Connection" in the Virtual Tour


Tammi modeling this season's color: sand

Mitzpe Munchies 
By:Alexis di Stefano

FASHION: The fashion world has gone through an unmentionable number of "season colors." Orange is the chosen one for this fall and here on the kibbutz we have one for this summer…sand. The stylists elitists have decided upon "sand" for its down-to-earth feel and also because when digging every day from 5-1 no one can tell if you are actually dirty or simply stylin'. Call 1.800.555.SAND for information on where you can buy some summer sand items.

DIET: For centuries now societies all over the world have been tackling a common question…how can we stay thin? We have gone through cabbage diets, veggie diets, liquid diets, Weight Watchers, weight camps, pills, hypnosis, etc., etc. Until now nothing has seemed to work well enough. But we have the solution. All you have to do is leave all your luxuries at home and bring your out-of-shape self to Kibbutz Gevulot in Israel. Here you will follow a regimented diet of hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cottage cheese (of sorts). You will also find that you must go far and beyond the call for a mere eight glasses of water a day. You will be imbibing close to eighty glasses and not once will you feel the urge to relieve yourself of any of these liquids. You may, after about four weeks, decide that you never want to see any of this food again. Take a deep breath because this is a normal side effect and can be treated quite easily. All you have to do is pretend that what is on your plate is actually something else. You can turn cottage cheese (of sorts) into vanilla ice cream, tomatoes into ripe apples, eggs into giant jawbreakers, and sliced cucumbers into a softer, greener version of potato chips. If the problem persists, however, we have consultants on call 24 hours a day to help you though a rough time. 

PEOPLE: A strange and unusual occurrence has taken place here on Kibbutz Gevulot. Somehow, by the powers that be (we do not yet know what these powers are), aliens have landed. We call this group "aliens" for lack of a better word. Their language is difficult to comprehend and seems to be made up of different pitches of laughter. We have gathered, though, that they come from a place called "Trinity College." We have been studying them for some time now and can not seem to figure out what it is that causes this guttural laugh-language. We will continue to keep a close watch on the "Trinity College" beings, but we are not sure if we will ever come to any conclusions.

WEATHER: The weather has remained relatively consistent over the past few days. A scorching sun, clear skies, and little to no breeze has been the norm. Today, however, was a welcome change. Temperatures remained the same, but clouds made their way into the sky for a good portion of the morning and early afternoon. When outdoor physical labor is a part of your everyday schedule these clouds bring a smile to your face and put an extra spring in your step. We are hoping that this activity will continue for the rest of the week, but one can never really predict the weather. 

IN FILM: Following Hitchcock's lead in his classic "The Birds," a new producer is coming out with a movie titled "The Flies." This film takes place on a small kibbutz near Beer Sheva, Israel. The plot, put vaguely, is about the always present, constantly buzzing little black flies. The depth of the film lies in how the mental state of the kibbutz dwellers is affected. The viewers will feel as if they are tight there with the characters. Between the superb acting and the surround sound buzzing the viewers will come close to sharing in the mind-altering experience. COMING SOON TO A THEATER NEAR YOU!