A peaceful day in  Jerusalem

Sociolinguistic Series: Part 43

Language is a powerful tool.

Irene Yi
Irene Yi

Welcome back! We are continuing on with our trek through the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City! Right now, we have come upon the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains four of the fourteen stations of the Cross, including the two holiest sites in the world for Christians--the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Upon walking into the church, we turned to the right and walked up a few flights of stairs. We saw a long line of people waiting to have their turn kissing the ground in a small box, and we learned that this was Calvary, or Golgotha. This was where Christians believed Jesus was crucified, and the kissing-of-the-ground-at-Calvary is an important ritual in any Christian pilgrimage.

Down the stairs, we saw the Stone of Anointing, where many other people were kissing the ground and praying. This is where Christians believe that Jesus' body was prepared for burial, so many people who come here to pray bring a token item with them; they believe that if this item touches the Stone of Anointing, it will become holy.

Around the corner, there is the Rotunda. In the center of this area, there seems to be a shrine; this is where Christians believe Jesus was resurrected on the third day. J

ust like up the stairs at Calvary, there was a long line of believers who were waiting to walk into the shrine-like structure to see the empty tomb of Jesus Christ. Again, seeing this tomb where Jesus was believed to have risen and walked out of is an important part of the Christian pilgrimage.

Not only does this church contain many holy sites, it contains six different church denominations and many other groups that share responsibility in using and caring for the church. The six denominations that have laid a claim in the church are the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Apostolic, the Roman Catholic, the Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, and Syriac Orthodox.

Muslims also care after the church and help keep it organized and clean. There are literally several different domes within the building for the several different denominations that use this space for worship; we walked by many small "churches" within the larger church.

This type of sharing requires a great deal of mutual tolerance and respect--coexistence at its finest. As Americans, we often hear about violence that happens in the Old City, or just in the Israel and Palestine region in general. It seems to be every news story that comes out of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of violence--a monk getting in a fight with another denomination, for example. There is actually one case of a violent story that came out of the difficult balance between all the denominations.

In 1853, it was decreed that no one shall disrupt the status quo of the church unless all the denominations agreed to do so. In 2002, a Coptic monk moved a chair into the shade on a hot summer day. Because he moved the chair without discussing it with all of the other denominations first, people took this as an act of threat; the Ethiopian Orthodox took offense and about a dozen people were actually hospitalized because of the resulting violence. However, they have learned their mistake and this kind of misunderstanding is very much so prevented today by everyone making efforts to not disturb the status quo again.

In fact, there is a ladder outside the front of the church, and it hasn't been moved in years for this very reason. Unless all denominations agree to move this so-called "Immovable Ladder," no one will move it.

We only seem to be hearing this violent side of the story because 364 days a year, there is no "story" to come out of the Church besides peaceful coexistence. The one day of the year that there is violence and tension, we hear about it. It seems like the only times we hear about this region are times of violence because we DO only hear about it when times are bad.

There are no breaking news stories about a peaceful day in Jerusalem because on most of the days, it is peaceful--and people are living, for the most part, in harmony. We have to be careful of the news we hear for this very reason. Even outside of stories about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we have to be mindful of ALL stories we hear in American news. There are infinitely more reporters stationed in Israel and Palestine than there are in regions like Syria, Iran, or Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

We hear about Israel and Palestine a lot more because the people stationed here need stories to write about, so they may, occasionally, exaggerate and inflate an event to come up with a story to tell. We don't hear about the bombings happening in Syria EVERY day because no American reporters are there writing stories about it every day.

There is a lot more to a region and its poeople than the narrow story that comes out of one American source--and I hope y'all know that my story is just one more small, small slice of the pie. I don't have a complete, objective picture of everything that is happening, and everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

I hope you've been enjoying reliving my trip just as much as I have. In the next section, I will talk about conversations I had in the Arab Bazaar and the rest of our first Saturday in this region!

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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How Incorporating Organization In My Daily Routine Single-Handedly Changed My Life

And how it can structure yours.


It would be a complete fabrication of the truth if I pretended that my life in any way has been picture perfect. Things are messy, life is messy, and my life becomes an endless cycle of self provoked destruction.

I've had short bursts of motivation as a last expedient to seize control of the downward spiral I have endured. But mostly they have diminished along with any motivation I have left.

None of these short term solutions have yet to salvage my mental, physical, and academic state. SO, as an attempt to overhaul my life, I decided the best way to strive for control, is to organize every aspect of my life.

Yes, this could become unhealthy if I used this tactic as a way to tear myself down or over analyze my accomplishments, or lack thereof. But I try to view my life as something I have a say in while considering that not everything will be perfect or completely satisfy my goals for myself.

To successfully enact this measure, I try to never go into a day unaware of what I must accomplish, what tasks/work I have to attend to, and stocked with a full calendar and set of alarms that prevent me from missing deadlines. Although mildly time-consuming to detail my life in advance, it is greatly beneficially outweighed through the amount of time this tactic saves me.

Recently, I have noticed how much happier I have been, and feel as if my life is back on track and it's future in my hands. This has allowed me to work an upwards of 50 something hours a week, see and manage friends, read and keep up with hobbies, as well as give me peace of mind and time to relax with loved ones.

I am grateful for the role that organization has played in my life and suggest that everyone incorporate some type of underlying structure in their lives, to realize that anything is achievable with proper organizational preparation.

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