Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday in Jerusalem

Friday in Jerusalem

This day was spent in wonderful celebration of Jerusalem. We went through the amazing Southern Wall excavation site. This is the really incredible archaeological exporation of the southwest corner and southern wall of the Temple Mount.

I'm not sure I can even express in words how I feel (especially not while typing on my bberry - I think this may have to be a more thorough exposition when I get home, but...) about this site. It is truly breathtaking to me that we have dug up and learned so much about the Temple Mount. What boggles my mind though (here's where expression gets tricky) is how we treat this part of the Kotel (wall) as a historical site whereas the "Western Wall" usually called The Kotel is viewed as a religious site. It's the same wall! Yes I know there is historical significnce to the only piece of the temple mount that we have had access to for hundreds of years but why is that "the real Wall" and the other merely a museum piece? More on this later.

After the Southern Wall site we visited the Kotel Plaza and had a chance to say our own prayers and place written prayers in the cracks of the wall.

Then we explored the Jewish quarter, spent a little time shopping in the Cardo, and had a great felafel lunch in the Old City.

For the afternoon most of our group rested and relaxed by the pool....a few of us headed to Mahane Yehuda market for a little pre-Shabbat experience and shopping. It's still Purim so things were even more festive than usual. We bought fruit and nuts and hamantaschen and of course, my favorite, rugelach from Marzipan Bakery. On the way home we walked through the Ben Yehuda midrachov (pedestian mall) and had smushy yogurt. A little rest and then onto Shabbat....

(I'm tired so more tomorrow on Shabbat!)

1 comment:

John Sklar said...

When Mom and I were there together, before you were married. We found a piece of the "Wall" where we could stand together and pray. It was at the end of the tour you write about. Same wall, but we could hear the Arab families preparing dinner... laughing and enjoying each other's company.
I doubt that I will forget that moment.