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Israel Study Tour with River City Christian

November 7-19, 2022

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Day 09 - Jerusalem: City of David, Hezekiah's Tunnel, Southern Steps, Yad Vashem

This morning, we left our hotel in modern-day Jerusalem and travelled to the City of David, where historians believe the ancient city-center of Jerusalem stood. This location was chosen for the center because it was near a water source: the Gihon spring. The original tunnel that was dug to bring water into the city was called the Canaanite tunnel. However, this tunnel also made water available to besieging troops outside the city walls, so historians believe Hezekiah redirected the water through what is now called Hezekiah's tunnel, ending at the Pool of Siloam. Some of our group got to walk through the Canaanite tunnel (the dry option) and others waded through Hezekiah's tunnel (which involved some sections of knee-deep water). At the Pool of Siloam, Pastor Jesse shared a teaching on the story of Jesus healing the blind man, which happened at this location (John 9:1-12).

On our way to our next stop, we ran into multiple bar mitzvahs in front of the Temple Mount. The crowds were alive with music and dance!

We gathered for another teaching from Pastor Jesse at the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount. These are the steps that Jesus and other Jews of his era walked up to approach the Temple, especially on the great pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot each year. The old entrance and exit that were located at the top of these steps have since been closed up, but the steps can still be walked on. We spent time in prayer and reflection.

We took a break from the study part of the tour to wander the Mahane Yehuda Market, full of fruits, piles of spices, candy, bread, and lots and lots of people!!

Our final stop of the day was Yad Vashem, the Jerusalem Holocaust museum. The museum consisted of survivor testimonies and items collected from the time period, including bunk bed frames from Auschwitz and menorahs that had been confiscated from Jewish homes. It was a very powerful experience.

Now we rest before our final day in Israel!!

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