1) It was safe.
Israel is a fascinating place with thousands of years of (albeit tumultuous) history. There is strict security at the major sites in Jerusalem, but considering their importance, this makes sense. It reminds me of the security checks around the National Archives or the Bureau of Engraving and Print in Washington, D.C, for example.
2) The food is awesome!
Everything was fresh, not processed, and Kosher ensures some very sound cooking practices, and its notations can also be very helpful for those with dairy or shellfish allergies. I had some of the best salads, dinners and pastries. And restaurants are open very, very late.
3) I did not miss Spam, rice or shoyu. At all. So that is saying something.
Japan/Israel/Bay Area time zone adjustments have been rough, so thanks for putting up with the intermittent posts and updates!