DAY 13 – FRIDAY – MAY 31 – JERUSALEM – ISRAEL MUSEUM – YAD VASHEM – MAHANE YEHUDA – GARDEN TOMB
We had a leisurely departure this morning, leaving the hotel at 8:15. Our first stop was the Israel Museum. Here, a wonderful model of “2nd Temple” Jerusalem is on display. Using archaeological discoveries as well as historical texts (mainly Josephus), the model depicts how Jerusalem would have look like during the time of Jesus. Next to the model is the Shrine of the Book, dedicated to displaying some of the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran. Lastly, the archaeological wing of the museum displays some of the most important finds in Israel. We saw artifacts from most of the major sites, including the horned altar at Dan, the Pilate inscription from Caesarea, and the letters written on pottery from Lachish, to name just 3 of many examples. The “showcase” display at the museum was the new section dedicated to King Herod, primarily the finds from Herodium. The last Israeli archaeologist, Ehud Netzer, is responsible for finding Herod’s tomb. The display was fascinating!
Next, we visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust Museum. We spent nearly 2 hours here, walking through the museum itself as well as seeing other memorials. Leaving the museum, we ate lunch at the Mahana Yehuda, or the “Jewish market. With “Shabbat” coming tonight, it was extremely busy but fun to walk around and encounter common Israel life.
Our last stop was the Garden Tomb. Here, we saw the second possible site of Christ’s crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. We enjoyed the quietness of the place as well as Worship & Communion service.
Upon returning to the hotel, we said goodbye to our driver (Achmed), and guide (Yoni). Dinner was late tonight because of Shabbat. Once again, we enjoyed the fellowship together and talked about our plan for our free day tomorrow.