DAY 10 – WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26
With another 7:30 a.m. departure from the hotel, we began the day by entering the Jaffa Gate and walking down through the Jewish Quarter to the entrance to the Temple Mount. After ascending to this place where the both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temple once stood, we talked about the centuries of history that took place here. Today, the Dome of the Rock stands in the same area of where the Temple once was built. Leaving this area, we re-entered the Jewish Quarter for a visit to the Burnt House, a Jewish house that was destroyed in 70 AD along with the rest of Jerusalem. Close by is the shop called Shoreshim, run by two Jewish brothers who are Orthodox. We listened to Moshe who shared with us about his Jewish faith in comparison to our Christian faith.
From here, we went to the Western Wall for an hour-long walk along this retaining wall of the Herodian Temple. We saw stone blocks that weighted anywhere from 1.5 tons to an amazing 570 tons (called the Master Course). It’s no wonder why the disciples commented on the engineering feats of Herod (Mark 13:1-2). It is still impressive today!
After eating lunch along the Via Dolorosa, we exited the Old City once again and drove into western Jerusalem to the Israel Museum. Here we saw a 40:1 scale model of the Jerusalem during the 2nd Temple period. We also walked through the Shrine of the Book (that houses some of the Dead Sea Scrolls) as well as the archaeological museum. Here, we walked through the relatively new King Herod exhibition, as well as saw some of the significant archeological artifacts found at sites all over Israel. We ended the day by visiting Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial & Museum. What a moving experience this was.
We drove back to the hotel and dinner. Following dinner, we got taxis up to the top of the Mt. of Olives for a “night view” of the Temple Mount. We then walked back to our hotel from there through the Old City. Another great day here in Jerusalem!