The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Israel--All roads go Up to Jerusalem--Oct. 12

The Holy City of Jerusalem:  Sacred to Jews and Muslims alike

Ashdod was our first port in Israel.  It has replaced Tel Aviv as the the key port.  After boarding our bus, and picking up our guide we went "up" to Jerusalem a journey of about 30 miles.  I wish
 we'd had more time in for visiting more sites from the Bible.  Though I do remember Harold B. Lee talking to us a missionaries in 1964 about his visit to the Holy Land, and all the things he'd seen, and then saying, "But where I really learned to know Christ was in reading the scriptures."  So with that in mind, I know this experience will give us a better context as we re-read the scriptures now.
Jewish cemetery is on the East side of the Kidron valley, Muslim's are on the West side. To show respect and remembrance of loved ones, visitors place stones on the graves. 

Notice how expansive the walls around Old Jerusalem are.  Now you know why they had so
many gates into the city.  The walls as they exist today were built by Suleyman the Great,
who oversaw their construction between 1537 and 1542

Looking West to site of Herod's Palace
The backup of traffic on the hill was caused by Miltary
checks due to Iran's treats the previous day. The grey dome marks where some believe Golgatha was.  Others believe it is near the Garden tomb.

Dome of the Rock  (Gold dome) encloses the sacred rock upon which Abraham
prepared to sacrifice his son, thus is sacred to Christians and Jews.  The Muslims
also view it as sacred and as the site where the Prophet Mohammed was translated
into take his place alongside Allah.  The dome was built between 688 and 691.

 For Jews and Christians, the gold dome is marks the site of the Holy Sepulcure, which is also over King David's palace. 

This point was a beautiful site for viewing most of Jerusalem
which is a city of hills and valleys.

Looking south over the Jewish cemetery into the Kidron Valley

Damascus Gate--One of the most impressive structures of Islamic architecture in Jerusalem.  This is also the busiest and most photogenic of all the gates

We walked up the hill to the Damascus Gate

We entered through this gate to go into the Old City Bazaar.

Our trek through the Arab Old City of Old Jerusalem

There was much to see, but no time to shop, look, or veer from the path...though many enticements beckoned. These vendors weren't as aggressive as the Arabs in Egypt.

The Old City is a densely packed labyrinth of more than 100 streets, 1,000 shops and stalls, and 3,000 years of human experience.  Via Dolorosa is the same paving stones that were there at the time of Christ.

There were all kinds of wonderful things to see and buy, but we had
no time to shop..It would have been easy to get lost, and we formed a
long line "following the leader."

Our destination:  The Wailing Wall/ Western Wall

In stark contrast to the gaudy magnificence of the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall is a bare stone wall.  However, it is still one of the most captivating places in all Jerusalem.  The wall is regarded as the most holy of all Jewish sites and became a place of pilgrimage during the Ottoman period, when Jews would come to mourn and lament their ancient loss.  This destruction of Jerusalem was foretold by prophets Jeremiah, Zacharia, Isaiah, in the Old Testament and by Lehi in the Book of Mormon.  Lehi's family left Jerusalem in 600 BC because of the wickedness of the House of Israel, and their doomed fate.

Our traveling companions were Ethel Gottfredson and KC Benedict
We're on the women's side of the wall

Prayers and messages to God are still stuck in cracks in the wall.
We were all able to approach the wall for a moment of prayer.  There is a wall that separates men and women at the "wailing" wall.

This next picture shows the original steps leading to Herod's Palace, which was on the south edge of the city wall.  The BYU Jerusalem
Center is on the hill to the west overlooking the Old City and Temple Mound

Leaving the Western Wall

Leaving through the Eye of a Needle (which has been enlarged
since the time of Christ.)

Along the outside of the wall are many burial crypts.
We walked along these as we climbed back up the
hill to meet the bus.

On the hillside east of the Old City is the BYU Jerusalem Center

Lunch and shopping--not much time for either

Jimmy's Olive shop where Jew and Mormon alike
can find their favorite heroes and religious carvings.
Jimmy also sells to the San Juan Record and has 
beautiful Nativity Scenes.

The Chipmans from Farmington, NM
The Garden Tomb--one of two sites where Christ may have been buried

Wine press used long ago

Looking down at the Garden Tomb

Janet coming out of the burial tomb

One of the sites where it is believed Christ was buried in the tomb

Inside St. Gabriel's Church--Near Mary's Well

St. Gabriel's Church of the Annunciation of Mary, where she learned
she was chosen to be the mother of Christ.

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