Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Coffee Talk Companion: "The Yenta Tour: Shofar, Sho' Good!"

We’re not going to lie—this commentary is proving to be a bissel difficult. We spent so much of our childhood in Hebrew school to prepare for our Bar Mitzvah that we have heaps of unresolved anger issues with Israel. The fact that we now have to deal with Lisa rhapsodizing about it as if it were all a giant Chick-fil-A® Chargrilled Chicken Club Sandwich is a little much for us. It’s making us, shall we say, oysgematert.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

We’ve been really looking forward to today because we knew we were going to get to take a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee.

Lisa is feeling the exact excitement we feel when we go to Woodbury Common. Except she’s excited for a sea, not American Apparel clothing at Vietnamese-child-labor prices. (You know, the prices solid-color cotton-knit polo shirts should be.)

The lake is small enough that you really get a sense of wonder when you realize that you really are walking where Jesus walked. Well, actually, we just floated where Jesus walked but it was still cool. It was a great little trip with a wonderful teaching and then one of the local guys showed us how the disciples would have fished back then.

Call us scholarly, but we’re pretty sure the disciples, had they existed, would have used a rod. A rod just like the one we’d like to smack Lisa on the head with.

On the other side of the lake we went to the site of the Sermon on the Mount, Mt. Beatitude. Rami gave another great teaching and we had free time to simply find a spot in this beautiful place and meditate on these famous words. Rami showed us why this was the perfect spot acoustically for Jesus to deliver this message and how hundreds really would have been able to hear him. Fascinating.

Jesus was delivering massages?!?! What a guy! Oh... “message.” Eh. We would have crucified him, too, if we thought we were getting a massage and ended up with only a message. And then y’all could truly have blamed his death on the Jews. Oh, snap!

Then we went to the shoreline where they believe Jesus most likely met the handful of disciples after his resurrection and cooked fish for them. We even ate fish caught in the Sea of Galilee.

We had no idea there was a Long John Silver’s on the Sea of Galilee.

Next, we visited Capernaum where Jesus did the majority of his speaking. It was really cool to see ruins from an old synagogue and envision Jesus teaching with lively debate raging from the seats all around the walls.

It’s all Jesus this and Jesus that. It’s like it’s not worth seeing unless Jesus’s name is slapped on it.

Then we went to the “Jesus Boat.”

Jesus Christ.

This is where a group of young people from the local kibbutz discovered a fishing vessel that dates to the time when Jesus was walking the earth. Of course, they don’t claim that Jesus actually fished from this boat with his disciples but when we are imagining them in our mind’s eye this is the kind of boat we should be envisioning.

Because why should a.) historical fact or b.) imagination be employed? Nah. Let’s just say Jesus might have used this kind of boat which we could not have ever pictured without such a thoroughly helpful visual aid.

Honestly? You want to know what that is? It’s either an old canoe or a giant corn husk. Either way, fuck Jesus. It was Injuns, we tell ya! INJUNS!

This place also had a great gift shop so I bought olive wood bottles of anointing oil and mezuzahs from my friends at home.

Not only are we shocked that Lisa spelled “mezuzah” correctly, but we’re shocked that she bought some. Does she actually have Jewish friends? Maybe she thought they were candy bars. Or maybe she was just entranced by the shiny.

And, yes, we are aware that Lisa said “from” when she meant “for.” We can’t correct all her errors—no one wants us here longer than absolutely necessary.

Last stop was the Jordan River where my whole family decided to get rebaptized.

Did the family decide to get rebaptized, Lisa? Or did you decide that they should get rebaptized? We think maybe the latter. And, honestly, rebaptized? We rethink not.

As I wrote in my Cyber Prayer Letter last month,

Oh, shit.

“God is doing an indescribable work in my heart. When I look back, this revival in my life actually began 19 months ago, sped up last fall and then went into overdrive at the beginning of this year. I have been a Christian for 34 years and yet this is by far the most intense season of grace I have ever encountered. It feels more like a born again experience than when I was saved at the age of ten. That is the reason I have decided to get rebaptized in the Jordan River tomorrow. I’m sure I will eventually write more details sometime in the future but part of the work God is doing is revealing my sin of self-suffiency and self-protection. I have lived much of my life attempting to gain as much knowledge as possible, so I would make the right choices, in order to stay in control, so I could protect myself from getting hurt. In essence, I have desired to be my own god, rather than trust God with my wounded heart. Now, nobody would have seen this on the outside. I didn’t even recognize it in myself until recently.”

So does that means she’s an atheist? Or, er, an onaneist? We’re confused. And we’re pretty sure Lisa is, too. Like, why else would she voluntarily take a dip in a sewage canal?

I am learning so much about the freedom to really enter into the rest of God by grace rather than striving to earn God’s love and approval through the law. I wanted to be baptized again to make this statement to myself.

Too bad it wasn’t the River of Shut Up.


Friday, July 20, 2007
I’m exhausted. I don’t know if it is the jet lag or the all-day touring or the 120 degree heat but I’m pooped out. I don’t have much gumption for writing so my photo captions are going to be short and sweet tonight.


The first thing we did today was visit the ancient city of Bet Shean and then drove to the top of the Golan Heights.

You know, we have to say (mainly because we got nothin' else) that the Cauble kids really are three good-looking youngsters. Despite what they've been put through by their mother (see forced swimming in drainage ditch above for most recent example), Clancy, Haven and Tucker have turned out, aesthetically speaking, OK. You'd never know from looking at them what deep, dark secrets they're harboring. It's like Flowers in the Rectory.

After viewing a movie on the mysterious Jewish sect called the Essenes, we were able to see a handful of the actual caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

FYI, the Dead Sea Scrolls comprise approximately 900 documents. They're the Gnostic version of Coffee Talk. No wonder Lisa was so excited.

And what are these IDs the Caubles are wearing? The easy answer is that they're simply tour-group tags, but we're kind of thinking they're warning badges for the general Israeli population. (Notice how no non-Caubles appear in any of these photographs.)

Gideon Springs is one of my favorite spots so far. I love the Bible story but Rami really deepened its meaning for me as he described the process and significance of the shofar and the broken torch pots used to scatter the enemies before battle. This was one of those places that it boggles the mind to realize this is exactly where the story happened.

You know what boggles the mind? "This is exactly where the story happened."

Fortunately, to distract us from such unparalleled lunacy, we have another JusticeCasey pic.


We sure hope those waters have magical eternal-beauty powers! And we sure hope Maria stayed far, far away!

Shabbat began just as we were driving back into Jerusalem from the Tiberius region. We had a short devotional service overlooking the city and praying for the peace of Jerusalem.

You want to know the first step for peace in Jerusalem, lady? Get the hell out!

Until next time, say goodbye, Justice!