HEBRON CHRISTMAS REFLECTION: Mary's journey

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CPTnet
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December 24, 2004
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<P>HEBRON CHRISTMAS REFLECTION: Mary's journey
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<P>by Dianne Roe
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<P><P>My teammate, Mary Lawrence, was preparing to go home for Christmas. Before
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leaving Hebron for Jerusalem, she tried many times, in vain, to confirm her
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flight. I had the same problem last year, and, only after I got to the
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airport, did I discover that my flight had been cancelled. Luckily, I had
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the phone number of an Israeli friend. I called her and she picked me up at
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the airport and took me to her home near Tel Aviv.
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<P>So, as Mary tried and failed one more time to reach Alitalia, I gave her a
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piece of paper with the name and phone number of our mutual friend. &quot;If you
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have a problem at the airport,&quot; I told her, &quot;call Susy. She is always ready
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to help.&quot;
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<P>Two thousand years ago, another woman named Mary, being great with child,
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was preparing for a difficult journey. She mounted a donkey and set out to
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travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem. If Mary were to make that journey today,
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she would face many discomforts and dangers. The Israeli army has imposed
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checkpoints between villages. The donkey would have to go over large dirt
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mounds. At some checkpoints such as Kalandia, north of Jerusalem, or
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Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, people wait in line for hours to get through.
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Some women have given birth at checkpoints because soldiers would not let
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them pass.
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<P>If I were to meet Mary today as she prepares to make the final leg of her
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journey south to Bethlehem, I would give her a piece of paper with the name
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and phone number of a friend who helps people when they are stuck at
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checkpoints. &quot;If you have a problem,&quot; I would say, &quot;call Susy.&quot; Susy and
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many other Israeli women are part of an organization called Machsom Watch
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(Hebrew word for checkpoint). Every day women from all over Israel go to
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the checkpoints to watch, and try to intervene if soldiers are mistreating
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people.
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<P>This Christmas as I sing about angels and shepherds, I will think of my
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friends in Machsom Watch, who have helped me in my journey, and who help
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strangers on the road.
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