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Monks In Zion

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The Benedictines who serve at Abu Ghosh’s Church of the Resurrection set aside hours and sometimes days for meditative silence, but when they do speak, it’s often in colloquial Israeli Hebrew with their Muslim neighbors

Every year on Christmas Eve, hundreds of Christians, Jews, and Muslims stream into Abu Ghosh and fill the Church of the Resurrection to overflowing. Asked by the monks to respect the sanctity of the church (and to turn off their cellular phones), they sit waiting, expectantly, in a hushed and uncharacteristic silence. The images in the church’s brilliant frescoes, painted nearly a thousand years ago, seem to hold their breath in anticipation.

Suddenly, the pungent fragrance of incense permeates the air. Splendid music echoes through the high and ancient ceilings as, dressed all in white, Benedictine monks and nuns proceed solemnly into the sanctuary. Midnight Mass has begun.

For centuries, there were no services in this church. In fact, when the first Benedictines reached the Muslim village of Abu Ghosh they discovered unruly shrubs growing on the roof, the inner walls, and interior, covered with manifold layers of grime and calcium deposits. The whole structure was on the verge of collapse.

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Read the full article over at The Times of Israel.

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Testimonials
Dear Aviva and Shmuel , Just a note to thank you for all of your help on our trip to Israel. Aviva .. your great ideas for the day we were on our own plus your help in booking everything was really helpful and made our first night and day very exciting .Shmuel ..apart from the fact that the kids thought you may actually be one of Supermans cousins .. we really had a fantastic trip. What you managed to show us in Jerusalem considering William is only 8 was amazing. Both the kids loved the water tunnel ( even after a small initial scare !). The day doing Masada ,En Gedi and the Dead Sea was really the most exciting day for us all . Our Israeli friends who came over to join us from Tel Aviv said there was no way they would have been able to fit in so much. Everyone loved it !
Regards, David Glazer .. (and Joel and William)

the Glazer Family