DAY 10 – TUESDAY, JULY 21
It was another perfect weather day, with sun and temps in the 80s. We left the hotel and drove to the Old City. Entering the Dung Gate, we visited the Western Wall Tunnels. It really was amazing and impressive seeing how large some of the stones of Herod’s temple were, one weighing a suggested 500+ tons! We walked parallel along this western “retaining” wall used by Herod to expand the Temple Mount. We referred to John 2 and Mark 13 (“what massive stones and impressive buildings”). From here we went back to the Western Wall itself. Some prayed at the Wall
Ascending into the Jewish Quarter proper, we enjoyed a fascinating discussion with “Moshe,” an Orthodox Jew. We learned a lot about a Jewish religious lifestyle and perspective. Following this time with Moshe, we enjoyed lunch in and around the Hurva square.
Walking out the Zion’s Gate, we met our bus and drove to Yad Vashem. This is Israel’s Holocaust Museum and Memorial. We heard Shlomo share his personal story about losing 12 family members in Poland. We visited the Valley of the Communities as well as the Children’s Memorial as well as the museum itself.
Our last stop for the day was the Israel Museum. Here we saw a 1:50 scale model of 1st century Jerusalem. This model provided a good picture of the city of Jerusalem Jesus would have known. Next we saw various Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the Shrine of the Book, including portions of the Temple Scroll (from Cave 11, the one we were in at Qumran). Finally, we saw “highlight” artifacts from the archaeological wing, including items such as the Beersheba horned altar, the Arad holy of holies, and Herod’s sarcophagus, among many other items.
We drove back to the hotel for dinner and a free night.
DAY 11 – WEDNESDAY, JULY 22: JERUSALEM, TEMPLE MOUNT, CITY OF DAVID, HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL, SILOAM POOL, DRAINAGE TUNNEL, SOUTHERN STEPS, GARDEN TOMB