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I am back in my room on the Western Hill just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem. The grapes here in Israel are on their way out and the pomegranates are on their way in. In about 3 more weeks there’ll be fresh pomegranate juice stands throughout the Old City. Yum!

Some of you have heard the story, others have not. Now, I have some pictures so that you may see what I’m talking about. My first semester at JUC I stayed in a room upstairs from where I am staying now. In this room there is a cable which comes through the wall and goes out the window. My roommate and I used it as a clothesline. However, it was installed by the Israelis during the War of Independence in 1948, for the purpose of moving supplies and wounded soldiers across the Hinnom Valley to and from their base on the Southeast side. It is 200 meters long and carried a cable car from one side of the valley to the other. At its greatest distance above the Hinnom Valley it is about 50 meters high. A ride along the cable took about 2 minutes in each direction.

The 1948 cable coming out the wall next to my window and stretching across the Hinnom Valley to the 1948 Cable Car Museum on the west side of the valley.

The 1948 cable coming out the wall next to my window and stretching across the Hinnom Valley to the 1948 Cable Car Museum on the west side of the valley.

One night some of the Israeli soldiers managed to sneak their way up into the school through tunnels that go under the Hinnom and come up within the school grounds. (These tunnels are still there but are now locked up.) They established an outpost here and strung up the cable to receive supplies and send back their wounded. The opposite end of the cable was attached to a crank which was situated in a house across the Hinnom Valley. During the day the Israelis lowered the cable to the floor of the Hinnom so that the Jordanians would not see it. At night they cranked it up to use it for transporting supplies and wounded soldiers across on trolleys. It was from my old bedroom that many of the attacks attempting to free the Jewish Quarter were staged.

The cable anchored in my room, running out the window to the opposite side of the Hinnom Valley to the 1948 Cable Car Museum.

The cable anchored in my room, running out the window to the opposite side of the Hinnom Valley to the 1948 Cable Car Museum.

I pray all of you have had excellent weeks with less sitting in a car or plane than mine has had.

Grace and peace,
Peter