03 Jan Day 9: The last supper
Jerusalem taught us that to accomplish great goals it’s not necessary to have that much, but big ambitions, dedication and love for what we do.
On Sunday we go to Jerusalem! Finally we have the chance to visit the capital city, the city that all our Israeli friends talk us about in a very nice way. We are guided by an outstanding ex-ambassador of LEAD, Adir, who brings us through the streets, (after recommending us not to get lost as it’s very easy), to visit the Sanctum Sepulcrum, the Western Wall, and who tells us about his project and his idea of the City.
Visiting the Sanctum Sepulcrum is a must, more or less for everybody, especially for us, Italians. The general impression is that it’s a crowded church, chaotic, as it represents all types of Christians orders. Hence, apart from visiting all the different parts of the building, we enter (we are allowed only 15 seconds) the Sanctum Sepulcrum, and we see the place where the cross in which Jesus died was placed. This experience was particular for more or less everyone, an experience in which all the years of Sunday class and of stories meet real buildings and stones.
After letting us ten minutes to negotiate at the market, we move towards the Western Wall and while walking Adir makes us notice about the different “layers” that build the City through some sort of water wells.
The Western Wall is one of the holiest places in Israel, as it’s the only wall left from the Temple of Jerusalem. Hence, we follow the common process: we go through the security check, we take out a note in which we write our wishes, a short thought or a prayer, and we walk backwards, as this is meant to be the place where God resides.
At lunch time we eat a sort of pizza, and as it’s very hot we eat quickly to then move to a public area with air conditioning where Adir starts telling us his story, that captured us from the beginning to the end.
Adir tells us how Jerusalem, his beloved City, is divided into parties that don’t communicate much with each other (arabs, ultra orthodox, and secular Jewish, or less religious people) and have different ideas regarding how to manage the City. Adir’s project in LEAD had a common denominator, something that could go beyond the cultural and religious barriers, having nothing where to start from apart his passion for soccer. Thus, to overcome the big problem of Israeli kids being divided and not knowing reality beyond the one of their community, Adir and other young leaders believed in passion and in fun as a way to connect the different parties, building a “peace bubble”. To this extent, beside making available to the kids a field and a couple of training sessions per week, they contacted the school and the family of each boys interested in joining them (later this experience was extended to girls too) in a way to monitor their behaviours and educate them. The amazing part of the story is that the news of the peace bubble reached Barcellona, that contacted Adir to bring there some of his kids to meet the famous soccer players. While bringing the news to the kids, Adir understood what he wanted to do in life (apart from being politically active in Jerusalem): building more moments that make people’s eyes shining, moments that warm the heart.
Starting from zero and achieving such big goals. We understand how much we can get, with only our motivation and a big dream.
After continuing the conversation and having asked few questions, we move to Eliav who prepares us a good BBQ, and we spend a nice evening talking and playing LEADus. Time flies, hence very soon Eliav and Yaara call us back, it’s time to go! Before leaving though, and in order not to have issues with our luggages the next day, we are given a gift that they had thought for us: LEAD backpack. This almost seems the crowning of not only our participation at LEAD Italia, but also at LEAD Israel, as if our journeys are irrevocably crossed, hence an invitation to a LEAD organisation that might become worldwide.