The Temple Mount and The Old City
Today was another WOW day! Woke up in Jerusalem, beautiful, cool breeze met us as we walked out the front doors of a 5 star hotel and around the corner where our super great tour guide and bus driver were ready to go!
Our first stop of the day was at the Temple Mount! It could have been really intimidating, but for all of the wrong reasons! Question of the day: Why build a city here? First of all, the main things you need for a city aren’t here: security, water (only one small spring). The Sacrificing of Isaac on the top of this hill is part of the significance. First, known as Ur Salem and then later known as Jerusalem. When David came here, he renamed it as “the City of David”. It became a neutral territory for all 12 tribes. Solomon, David’s son, built the very first Temple here.
Western Wall Tunnels:
This is where we got to go inside the Western Wall that Herod built, we were able to see down several civilizations and in one end we were able to see a civilization from the 1st century. We learned how they were able to move the large rocks around to build the walls that are 8-10 stories high. Our walkway, once we were in the tunnel, was one of the civilization’s roadway. We learned that Jerusalem is known for 70 different names, so throughout the Bible, you may read Zion, but in reality the writer was talking about Jerusalem. This tunnel was 35-40 feet below the City Streets of today.
The tour of the western wall tunnels is one of the most popular tourist sites in Jerusalem. These underground tunnels connect the western wall prayer area to the north-west side of the temple mount, passing along the side of the temple mount and under the present day houses in the Old City. Along its path are remains from the second temple period, as well as structures from later periods.
It was really interesting to see all of the orthodox Jews praying their heart out for someone that we believe has been born, walked the earth, was crucified, arose and lives within us today…..It was really something to watch how much energy they put into all of their prayers.
The Western Wall is the most holy place accessible to the Jewish people because of Muslim control of the Temple Mount. Known in recent centuries as the “Wailing Wall,” this was built by Herod the Great as the retaining wall of the Temple Mount complex. The plaza was created as an area for prayer when Israel captured the Old City in 1967. At times tens of thousands of people gather here for prayer.
Lunch in Bethlehem:
After a U-Turn on a road ½ the length of the bus, we made it to Marvel’s Sandwich Shop, We had a great Palestinian Sandwich, called a Schwarma. Our bus-load filled up the restaurant, but everyone had a great time and delicious lunch.
Church Of The Nativity
In Bethlehem, we were able to visit the Church of the Nativity, where we had a Christian guide to take us through. It was a real nice experience but was under construction, so we had to decipher how it is today and how it has been in the past and will be in the future. We got to see the place that Jesus was born and then where the manger was located after his birth. Downstairs we were able to see an original stable, and it is of rock and stone and not of wood. We have to re-think our thinking (teaching).
A place of many shops of the people of Jerusalem, reminded me of the teachings of each 1st century city where they markets were on both sides of the main street of then city….Lots of fun and a nice slice of pizza and fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.
Jim and Renee’ Parker