Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Israel Trip, Part 7

 Day 7 of our tour was one of the longest, most enjoyable, and most exhausting days of our time in Israel.  We spent the whole day in Jerusalem and covered so many miles on foot, my feet felt like they were going to fall off by nightfall!

The first place we visited I didn't actually get pictures of because, as a pregnant lady, I was not permitted to participate due to liability issues.  But the rest of the group was able to journey underground into Hezekiah's tunnels, taking their pick of either the wet tunnels or the dry ones and ending at a famous Biblical "pool," the name of which now escapes me.  I sat up in the gift shop area and read.

After that excursion, we made our way to the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount.  This location was significant on several accounts.  Unlike many other destinations in Israel where much guessing takes place as to whether or not Jesus "really walked there," we know without doubt that He would have traversed these steps on numerous occasions and probably even preached/taught from them.

Another reason these steps are significant is because many believe that Peter likely gave his famous message on the day of Pentecost from these steps.  The sectioned-off pools in the above picture were used by the Jews to ceremonially bath before entering the Temple.  If Peter had preached from these steps, when the 3,000 Jews were added to the Church that day, it would have been an ideal place to baptize them immediately.

A massive stone in the city wall.

The old city gates - look how huge they were!

Standing in front of the old city gates.

Loving the architecture of the old city.

Lunch time at the park!  These would be the two youngest of our tour group -- can you tell? ;)

After lunch, our group split up.  Some went to see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher while some wanted to do some shopping in the markets of Jerusalem.  Since Nathan and I had already done our shopping, we set off to explore and see what we could see for the next three hours.  We had so much fun! 

More city gates that are still in use.

Making our way to an Abbey, near which is what is believed to be the original "Upper Room" where the disciples of Jesus congregated after His ascension.

Stopping for a refreshing drink of pomegranate juice.  They literally juiced it right in front of us.

And it was so delicious!  I could get used to that drink on a regular basis!

A beautiful fountain in the Christian quarter.

More street vendors.

The only protestant church in the Old City.

We really enjoyed exploring the Jewish quarter.  It was immaculate, peaceful, family-oriented, and lovely to see.  Here is the synagogue right in the center of the quarter.

This was like a plaza where people congregated.

The residential section.

A view from the Jewish quarter.

The wall that Nehemiah and his crew helped to build.

Heading back toward the Wailing Wall to start our tour of the underground tunnels in Jerusalem.

There is quite a labyrinth of walkways, hallways, passageways, and more under the city.  Many Jews use these passageways to travel where they need to go since they are not permitted to walk through the Muslim quarter above ground.  There is also a special place where they like to pray, as at the Wailing Wall, since it is the closest they can get to the old Temple location.  It was most interesting to see the underground life that exists in this bustling city.

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