DAY 11 – THURSDAY, JANUARY 24: JERUSALEM, OLD CITY, JEWISH QUARTER, YAD VASHEM
Today was the first of three full days in Jerusalem. The sun once again greeted us, with cool temps to start (40s), but with a high temp in low 60s. The day was filled with a wide range of experiences and emotions.
Mt. of Olives
Leaving our hotel at 7:30, we drove around the northern side of the Old City and then east. Ascending the Mt. of Olives we enjoyed an incredible view of the city of Jerusalem! In front of uw across the Kidron Valley was the City of David (the OT Jerusalem), the Temple Mount, and the entire Old City. At the Dominus Flavet chapel we read from Luke 19, Acts 1, and Zechariah 14 to remember Jesus’ Palm Sunday celebration, His weeping over Jerusalem, His ascension, and His predicted return on this mountain!
Continuing to walk down the path to the Garden of Gethsemane, we gathered in a private garden for a time of reflection. We read from Luke 22 and considered Jesus’ passion, “Not my will but yours be done…” This was where Jesus was betrayed from Judas.
“Our first day here in Jerusalem was amazing! The view of the Old City and Temple Mount from the Mt. of Olives started the day off. And to think that Jesus will return to the Mt. of Olives when He comes back. His feet will actually stand here! Incredible thought!” – Tour Member –
Walking into the Old City through the Lion’s Gate (also called St. Stephen’s and Jericho Gate), we stopped at the St. Anne’s Church. We sang a few songs in this Crusader Church that has an 8 second echo! We sounded like a wonderful choir! On the same grounds are the Pools of Bethesda where the lame man was healed by Jesus (John 5).
From here we walked to the Christian Quarter and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one of the two possible locations for the crucifixion and burial site of Jesus. We ate lunch near by.
Walking to the Jewish Quarter after lunch we visited the Herodian Mansion. This was a 1st century AD large house structure excavated in the early 1970s. Today these ruins are completely under modern buildings. We also listened to Moshe, an Orthodox Jew. He and his brother Dov own a store called Shorashim.
Walking out the Zion’s Gate, our last stop of the day was Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum & Memorial. Here we walked through the Children’s Museum (1.5 million children were killed) and the main museum. We also heard Shlomo’s personal family story (he lost 12 family members who livd in Vilna, Poland).
We drove back to the hotel for a late dinner and an optional walk to Ben Yehuda Street for a taste of modern Israeli culture and shopping.