When I was planning my trip, I got caught up in majestic images of Israel — Jerusalem’s impressively steep hills; Nazareth’s enormous Basilica of the Annunciation; the gnarled, 2,000-year-old olive trees still miraculously growing in the Garden of Gethsemane; and the blessed Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
I didn’t envision a man atop the Mount of the Beatitudes shilling bottles of "Cana wedding wine." Or helicopters constantly buzzing overhead.
And so, two days into my trip to the Holy Land, instead of being on a prayerful path, I found myself increasingly irritated and dismayed by the commercialization of the holy sites and the often irreverent behavior of other tourists. I was in the...READ MORE