Saturday, January 28, 2012

The navel of the world

Last weekend I had the rare opportunity to take a tour of one of the holiest and most emotionally-charged places on earth: the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are located on the Temple Mount, one of the holiest locations for three of the world's major religions. You may not realize (I didn't) that the Dome of the Rock is not a mosque and that women pray in the Dome of the Rock and men pray in the Al-Aqsa Mosque (both located in the Temple Mount inside the Old City of Jerusalem).

Inside the Dome of the Rock is the Foundations Stone (below). Many believe this stone to mark a special gateway to heaven, the place where God began the creation of the earth, the rock where Abraham almost sacrificed Issac, where the Holy of Holies was located in the Jewish Temple, and where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven. The experience was quite moving for me and puts into perspective how complicated the city truly is.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Ride for World Health

This is my sister, A. For over a year she has been training to bike across the United States--that's right, 3,700 miles--to raise awareness and money for domestic and global health. I'm so proud of her for setting this goal and inspiring others to join in (she is currently on the leadership recruitment team). On top of it all, she is about to complete her fourth year of medical school! What a star.

If you're interested in learning more, donating money, or joining the ride, visit the website: You can donate to a particular rider by clicking on the "Our Rider's" link. The money they raise will be donated to Louie's Kids, MANA, and SOIL. The riders themselves sleep in middle school gyms, churches, and community centers along the way to defray the cost over the two months it takes to complete the ride.

Can you imagine what good shape they will be in by the end? Do you have any big goals for 2012?