ISRAEL PILGRIMAGE –WE- 01/05/11
Dr. Dukes led our devotional this morning at the Haas Promenade. The Promenade overlooks the city of Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, the Valley of Hinnom, and the Kidron Valley. This is a great way to start our tour of Jerusalem over the next three days.
Avner took us to the Dung Gate via Silwan. Our first site tour is of the Temple Mount. This is a significant historical and political site. Gilla did an excellent job taking us through the site. Once we completed the Temple Mount we had to hustle back down to the Western Wall for the Kotel Tunnel Tour.
The Kotel deals with all of those things related to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount. The tour takes you down to first century Jerusalem, underneath present day Jerusalem, and reveals the Temple Mount Western Wall the full length of the wall and the ancient street that at some points is the street that Herod the Great built. Additionally, we visited a cistern from the earliest times and noted the Herodian stones and building methods.
All of us had an opportunity to visit the Western Wall. This is particularly important for us to see because of its importance to Judaism. It is an interesting and at times puzzling experience. The Western Wall itself is an imposing façade. When you realize why it is what it is it encourages you to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.
The Davidson Museum and the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount were our next tour. We had a student presentation at the Southern Steps.
It was now about 1:30 PM and time for us to go to lunch. We walked up from the Western Wall into the Jewish Quarter near Hurva Square where we had lunch. After lunch we all went to Shorashim Biblical Shop where we visited with Moshe and Dov Kempinski. We had an excellent discussion of Judaism and dialog with Moshe.
It has been a very long day of walking. We have trod the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem more than 15,000 steps today. Many of those steps were uphill. It has been rewarding and has created many memories for us.
We took the group to the Muristan near the Holy Sepulcher to shop. Some of us went up to the Aroma Coffee shop at the Jaffa Gate. We met Avner at 5:45 PM and returned to Ramat Rachel for dinner, Bible Study and sleep.
Tomorrow will begin early.