Its hard to believe that we have only been here one week. We have done so much that it feels like a month. We also took our first midterm today. This week has been especially busy with the study part of this study abroad and all the students are feeling it. But I suppose it all works out because on Sunday we leave for Egypt and no one is going to be doing any studying.
This week I went with a group to Ma'e Sharim the section of the city where all the Ultra-Orthodox Jews live. It was really interesting to see everyone down their in their hats and long black coats, with the tassles of their garments hanging down. The Jewish part of the cities are actually much nicer than where the palestinians live (because of political repression its hard for palestinians to get jobs) but this section of the city was really quite a dive. As I understand it, the Ultra-Orthodox dedicate their lives to studying the talmud, and therefore don't work. The state of Israel pays for these people to subsist which has caused a lot of tension within the Jewish community in Israel - because of the tax burden.
Also, a part of the the Ultra-Orthodox, are actually opposed to the state of Israel, because they believe that their punnishment is exile, and their repentance is longing for Jerusalem, and that the nation of Israel should only be restored by the Messiah when he comes.
As far as the official fieldtrips go, we have spent a lot of time touring the lands around Jerusalem. We saw where David slew Goliath, the valley where Samson lived, a bunch of ruins, cisterns, and archeology not necessarily connected with the Bible but still increadibly old and really cool. I need to figure out a way to get enough broadband to upload pictures. I think that other people are doing it so I'll look into it.
Tomorrow is the sabath, and then we leave for Egypt. I'll try to put some pictures up tomorrow.