In 1996, I felt a tremendous need to visit Israel and walk the land where Jesus walked, especially around Galilee, and look at what he called a sea. I found a practical nine-day tour available, ‘ The Historical Jesus Tour.’ Being a teacher allowed me time to travel, and I have been to many places alone, which has its advantages and disadvantages. For this trip, I knew I wasn’t going to easily find places, since I don’t speak Hebrew or know about necessary permits. Greek Easter Week coincided with my spring break, so I made plans to take a tour.
A bus blew up in Jerusalem the week before I left, and it was a dangerous time. My desire rose to a ‘pilgrimage’ level after that. My second child was four years old. I could be leaving him forever. Was trip was worth dying for? If I died in Israel, that would be my fate. I needed to see Jerusalem. I was going, bombs or no bombs.
My husband didn’t question my decision to go. I paid for the trip myself, and didn’t ask permission. He drove me to San Francisco’s International Airport. My private quest, unlike any before, sent me on my way.