Israel Study tour

March 20-30, 2017

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The Old City

Today we ventured to the “old city” of Jerusalem.

Western Wall

The “old city” is surrounded by a heavily secured wall. The gate we went through opened up to the Western Wall. The Western Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount. Because of the status quo policy, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though it is not the holiest site in the Jewish faith, which lies behind it.

Western Wall

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.

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Temple Mount

One of the most intense stops on our tour is the Temple Mount. Many important religious sites in this area. It has been labeled as a holy site for thousands of years by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

St. Anne’s Church

A big surprise for us today was stopping at St.Anne’s church for an impromptu concert by the Josh Weidmann choir. The acoustics in this church are amazing. We sang two songs before it was time to move on out.

Pools of Bethesda

We then headed over to the Pools of Bethesda where we heard (and saw) the spot of story of John 5. It was here that Jesus healed a man that had been paralyzed for 38 years.

Lunch and Bar Mitzvah

I haven’t talked too much about food yet but I have to mention today’s lunch. We were delighted to try Israeli bagels (which is something like a bagel and a pretzel mix).

While we were eating several Bar Mitzvah’s were going on. Lots of excitement (and drums, and balloons, and singing) filled the area we were at.

King David’s Tomb / Last Supper Room

We heard another sermon from Josh at the room that is the location of the Last Supper. This is also the site where people celebrate the life of David (including his supposed tomb). We learned that this location doesn’t line up with the Bible but it was still a sobering experience.

Holocaust History Museum

Speaking of sobering experiences our next stop was the Holocaust History Museum. Artifacts, photos, videos, interviews, and much more were arranged in a way to explain how this tragedy happened and paid high respect to the victims.

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