The bus normally left the hotel at 7:30 in the morning. This morning we left at 6:30 a.m. because we had an early appointment to visit the Davidson Center near the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Looking out the window at the churches that we walked past coming down from the Mount of Olives.
The Davidson Center is a museum that is built into the basement of an eight-century building. As we followed the winding ramp downward, we passed artwork and archaeological finds from the past. Then we watched a cool HD movie that showed what it was like to visit the second temple in a virtual world. This was very close to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and the Southern Wall. A neat place to visit.
After coming out of the Davidson Center we went through the Rabbi's Tunnel that was very near. After the Six Day War of 1967 a horizontal mine outside the Western Wall was began. The temple mount now houses the Muslim shrine the "Dome of the Rock" and the Al Aqsa Mosque. As they tunneled north along the temple mount in 1982, they found a sealed underground gate. They broke through the gate and began to clear out the chamber beneath the temple mount looking for artifacts. The Muslims heard and ran down to see what was happening. A riot followed. The Israeli government stopped the work beneath the temple mount but allowed the rabbis to continue their digging north along the western wall. By the late eighties they finished along the wall and discovered an ancient water cistern north of the temple mount. In 1988 it was opened to tourists. After the video completes just click the back arrow to return to the trip. Click here to link to Western Wall Tunnel Video
After we came out of the Tunnel, we were in the Muslim Quarter once more. We will be heading South back towards the Jewish quarter and will be passing some of the stations of the Via Dolorosa (The way of sorrows).
This is station four of the Via Dolorosa where Christ meets his mother Mary.
Station 3 - Jesus falls under the Cross for the first time.
The Muslim entrance to the Temple Mount. Remember Non-Muslims must enter through the elevated ramp on the southwestern side of the wall.
There were stores and shops to buy from all along the way.
You could shop all day in this area and still not see all the stuff.
Here we are back at the Wailing Wall again after our walk south.
Someone did a great job of decorating the car for a marriage.
We seemed to always be near this area or assembling here to go somewhere.
Now we are leaving the Wailing Wall and walking to our next destination, the Temple Institute.
Looking down on the Wailing Wall and ramp from the entrance to the Temple Mount.
The Temple Institute did not allow pictures to be taken, but you can see their advertising video by clicking the link below:
After the video is finished, just click the back arrow to return to the trip.
Looking at a view east to the Mount of Olives.
Checking the movie camera.
This is looking along the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount.
We are near the southwestern corner looking north.
A family celebrating a Jewish coming-of-age ceremony, a Bar Mitzvah, For families who like to be together, male and female, they have their ceremony here next to the Western Wall. Just farther up the wall where the main praying area is, the men and women are separated.
Notice the hyssop growing out of the temple wall. It grows everywhere around the temple. There is one verse in the New testament that refers to hyssop. John 19:29. "A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to [Jesus'] lips."
Hyssop represents common faith. Hyssop was a weed that grew practically anywhere. The blood is applied by common faith in God's word.
EXODUS 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. For more reading click the link below. When finished click the back arrow to return to the trip.
Now we are in the middle of the southern wall on ancient steps from the time of Jesus. Remember in Jesus time most of Jerusalem was south of the temple mount.
Looking east down the southern wall at 3 arched entrances that are closed now.
Steps from Jesus time.
From Toni's notes:
"These are the same steps that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus would have walked on when Jesus was 12 years old...plus when Jesus went to the temple as a man. The temple itself was destroyed in 70 A.D. but not everything from the surrounding area. To be able to stand on the very steps that Jesus had stood on was one of the most special parts of the trip."
"Olga told us that when the astronaut Neil Armstrong came to Israel that he had told his tour guide that he wanted to go somewhere that it was definite Jesus had walked when He was on earth. The guide took him to these steps. Olga said that as he stood there, Neil Armstrong said that to be able to stand on these steps meant more to him than when he stood on the moon. There was definitely a wonder to to be able to stand here and reflect on Jesus."
Leaving the southern wall headed back to the entrance gate.
A lineup of buses. The buses remind me of bugs with their antenna hanging forward from their heads. The bus drivers are the heroes of Israel. They take tourists places that seem impossible to get a vehicle that large into. We climbed onto the buses, drove to the museum area and ate lunch.Then we walked out to the model.
The next stop is an outdoor scale model of the ancient city at the Israel Museum. The time is AD 66, before the destruction of the city and Temple built by Herod the Great. Jesus Christ crucifixion was only 36 years before. This model is awsome!
The following is from Wikipedia - "The Holyland Model of Jerusalem is a 1:50 scale-model of the city of Jerusalem in the late Second Temple Period. The model was moved from its original location at the Holyland Hotel in Bayit VeGan, Jerusalem, to a new site at the Israel Museum in June 2006. "
"The model, measuring 2,000 square meters(21,520 square feet) was commissioned in 1966 by Hans Kroch, the owner of the Holyland Hotel, in memory of his son, Yaakov, and IDF soldier who was killed in the Israeli War of independence in 1948. The model was designed by Israeli historian and geographer Michael Avi Yonah based on the writing of Flavius Josephus and other historical sources. The model includes a replica of the Herodian Temple. From 1974, Yoram Tsafrir superintended the Holyland Model of Jerusalem."
"In 2006, the model was relocated to the southern edge of the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden at the Israel Museum. In preparation for the move, the model was sawn into 1,000 pieces and later reassembled. The Holyland Hotel spent $3.5 million on the move."
Notice how from the Roman Antonio Fortress they can look down and observe the temple area.
The Roman Antonio Fortress is massive and is attached the temple mount.
The South end of the city where the common people lived. This area is also known as the City of David.
The South side of the temple mount. These are the steps where Jesus stood that we visited earlier that day on the temple mount.
The east side of the temple mount.
Notice how the Roman Antonio Fortress is attached to the temple mount. Remember Acts 21:30 - 32.
"The whole city was aroused, and the people came running from all directions. Seizing Paul, they dragged him from the temple, and immediately the gates were shut. While they were trying to kill him, news reached the commander of the Roman troops that the whole city of Jerusalem was in an uproar. He at once took some officers and soldiers and ran down to the crowd. When the rioters saw the commander and his soldiers, they stopped beating Paul."
Then Paul, after he is rescued, asked the commander to speak and is allowed to address the crowd. Paul tells the crowd about his "on the road to Damascus" conversion. The crowd riots and the commander orders that Paul be taken into the barracks.
The two square structures just behind the city walls are the "Pools of Bethesda". We visit these on Day 9.
Very close is the Shrine of the Book. The white dome building is to the left of the picture. Shown is the black wall. The white dome symbolizes the Sons of Light and black wall symbolizes the Sons of Darkness. One of the manuscripts inside addresses the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.
The Israeli Parliament building is in the background. The Knesset is the national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister (although the latter is ceremonially appointed by the President), approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government.
The building was shaped to resemble the top of a clay jar that contained the ancient scrolls.
The shrine contains the Isaiah scroll, from the second century BC. This is the most intact of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It also holds the oldest existing Hebrew Bible that dates from the 10 century AD. A Jewish child knowing Hebrew can go inside and read these manuscripts.
After the group left here, it moved to the Holocaust Museum, where the next two hours were spent.
Then back to the hotel.
We saw so much on this trip that it would be almost impossible to line it up correctly without Toni's Narrative.