Thursday, July 18, 2013
I better finish journaling about our trip to Israel (almost 6 months ago!) before I forget all the details. The last 2 days of our trip we spent some time in Jerusalem. We took a day trip on Thursday, July 18th. Half of our group had taken an afternoon trip the day before, and Greg and I were in the 2nd group for our afternoon trip. Our bus driver dropped us off at the city gates and we walked for the next 4 hours touring the city of Jerusalem. And immediately upon reaching the city gate, we witnessed a Jewish Bar Mitzvah celebration. It was so great!We started walking through the city as John (our tour guide for he day) told us everything he knows about the city. John and his wife Tammi have been living in Israel for the last 20+ years. Tammi was one of the cooks we worked with in the kitchen all week. There are so many pictures I want to share. So I may just let the pictures do most of the talking. I’ll explain the important stuff (and what I remember!).
Men who would go to the temple for prayer would go to these ritual baths for cleansing and purifying. One side was for those descending into the bath and the other for those ascending who had been purified. These are the temple steps. The temple has been taken over and rebuilt twice over the past centuries. It doesn’t even belong to Christians or Jews anymore (if I remember correctly). I don’t want to get this wrong, but I think only Muslims can enter the Temple now. They took over and built the Dome of the Rock, which stand now in the middle of the Temple.
Next we made our way to Hezekiah’s tunnel. King Hezekiah ruled over the City of David, and as it is mentioned in 2 Kings 20, one of the great things he did was build a tunnel so that water could be channeled into the city in preparations for impending attach from the Assyrians. It is a rock tunnel dug out by soldiers, and even today there is a constant flow of water throughout the tunnel. In most places it is ankle to knee deep, but at the opening of the tunnel the water pools and came up to my shorts hemline. And it is COOOLD water!
That wraps up our first day exploring Jerusalem. We went back to the Baptist Village to sleep for the last night at the camp. We spent our final night in Israel back in Jerusalem. More on that next…