Our Trip to Israel

Jerusalem and more

Above is the Western (Wailing) Wall of the original temple. It is a sacred place for all Jews. Prayers are written on small scraps of paper and placed in the cracks of the wall.

Right: this stone was the upper (southwest) corner of the temple mount. There is an inscription engraved in the rock about calling people to prayer. This is the corner where the shofar would have been blown for that purpose. Sam demonstrates the blowing a shofar Robert and Alicia bought earlier.

This is a miniature mock-up of the old city during the second temple period after the exile. Shown here is the temple mount and the Southern Portico. The corner that Sam would have been standing in is at the upper left corner of the temple mount where the stone sticks up just a little. This reconstruction is located on the grounds of the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. This allowed us a vital overview of Jerusalem and a perspective you don't get in real life.

Our guide for the trip through the Western Wall Tunnels was Dr. Dan Bahat, the head archaeologist of the Western Wall Tunnels.

We saw the largest stones ever used in construction and how one level was used as support for and incorporated into the next level.

The picture at the left is a wonderful mosaic located in the passages below the Ecce Homo convent. They are part of the system of passages from the original second temple period.

Below is part of the original second temple stone pavement complete with diagrams to be used in the playing of games. These can also be seen in the passages below the Ecce Homo convent.

We were in the Arab quarter about the time school let out. Here is a group of boys headed up one of the many side alleys of the old city, headed for home.

Seeing only boys, I wondered if the Arab girls were allowed to go to school. About five minutes later the girls appeared, some of them obviously joining brothers who had waited for them.

Tourists surrounded them, but they went on their way, seemingly oblivious to the wonder of their surroundings.

This picture was taken outside Jerusalem on the way to Jericho. This is cut from a larger picture and enlarged somewhat. It shows the numerous goat trails that cover every mountain and hill side in the area. Halvor told us that the 23rd Psalm could read "circles rightly" rather than "paths of righteousness." If you look at the goat trails, it would be possible to circle of hill or mountain using these paths and come back to where you started. He likes a translation such as, "he leads us rightly through the confusing circular paths."

 

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