Christmas in Bethlehem

"Jesus was my rabbi." Sarah told me.

We drank too many glasses of red wine, ate a variety of cheeses and drunkenly sang Christmas carols on the roofdeck of the Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem. It’s owned by the Vatican, and it seemed like an appropriate way to honor the holiday. Sarah and I laughed as we shared our stories, our work, and our vulnerability. She comforted me in my loneliness, and invited me to consider marrying the land, or just an idea that I love.

I took this new romance into celebrations the next day in Bethlehem, a small town in the West Bank and Jesus’s birthplace. A new friend and Christian, Palestinian activist Antwan Saca guided us through the Christmas festivities and we all enjoyed bag-pipe playing Scouts, parading through hundreds of dressed up locals and foreign visitors.