I tell you the truth

Early this year I went to see my Dad at a prayer conference at a hotel by Mount Scopus.

As I was cycling back, I went through the Ultra Orthodox area of Meir Shereem, which looks a bit like this, except it was about 11pm:

Without asking for a directions, an older Hassidic gent with usual black hat, garb and bushy grey beard came up to me and asked me something, when I asked him if he spoke English, he asked me if I was lost, I said I was just looking to get back to the town centre and despite riding through this street a couple of times before I had lost my bearings.

The man was helpful and also seemed kind as I didn’t ask for assistance he approached me.   He wasn’t a native Sabra Israeli, he had a strong Eastern European accent, perhaps Hungarian.

It was only as he gave me the last part of the route he said I needed, he exclaimed “I tell you the truth….”

This shocked me quite a bit.   Probably I know its maybe the most common phrase spoken by Jesus.  Its in Matthew 18:3,  24:40, 25:45, Luke 9:27, 12:44,  21:3, John 6:26, 32, 45, 53.  13:21. 16: 7,  20, 23. 21:18.

Not sure how you would say this in Hebrew, but anyway its just very interesting to see some of the things I imagined from Jesus’ time would be said today.   Actually if you are curious you can try this Google search:

This is in all through the first bits of Gospels but I don’t see it in Mark.   I guess as Matthew, Mark and Luke report on parallel parts of Jesus’s life, but from different viewpoints from the perspective of three men who observed Jesus’s life, a taxman, a teacher and a doctor, maybe explains it.

Kosher highway code & Middle east motorcycling expedition

Walking past an ultra orthodox neighbourhood, sometimes I see these signs a little different from other parts of town.

Driving is forbidden by religious Jews on Shabbat or on holidays, for everyone else secular Israelis, Arabs or foreigners should not drive past these signs in these neighbourhoods on those days as deemed to be highly disrespectful to this community, these signs are a reminder you are entering a religious area.

On the way home from work I saw these large high end looking motorcycles, four of them, Harley Davidsons and BMWs, just round the corner from Zion Square, where Ben Yehuda Street meets Jaffa Street.   The owners are nowhere to be seen, but the bikes have been here two days now, the plates on the bikes are foreign.   On closer inspection, they have come from Bulgaria.  Zoom on the fuel tank for their tour.  Going into Damascus, Syria, then through Israel and Egypt sounds like a nightmare to plan for your visa application though!

There isn’t a web site mentioned, a quick search with Google shows nothing, if this is your club, or you know who is doing this trip, please comment or add a link 🙂



recent demonstration of 100,000 Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem

Over a week ago, you may have seen in the news plans for demonstration in the city centre from around 100,000 religious Orthodox Jews who were upset about their children being taught with secular Israelis in schools.  I don’t really know the full details of this, but we were asked by my work to be called into the main reception area to be be told to grab our things and go home for the day as there was a possibility this demonstration could turn violent, we just did a quick prayer that the demonstration would just be done and dusted without any problems.   This was a bit annoying as well I wasn’t be able to go to worship event at my church that evening, as the demonstration would of gone on till midnight and is in the main streets where I cycle through to church.

The Haredi (ultra Orthodox) communities often have demonstrations, since I have been here there have been one concerning a woman accused of abusing a child (the religious thought the police were ganging up on them) and other cases its usually they are complaining that the government are being too secular.   On one of the occasions a police car was torched and people were hurt.  But thankfully that thursday went peacefully.

The rest of Israeli society may get annoyed at the Orthodox people as lot of them do not work (just study Torah and religious books) or join the military, although in recent years there are more in the army.

There are many different facets to the frequently spiritually stormy atmosphere here.   Another reason to quote Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Psalm 122 : 6.