ISRAEL — Day FiveSunday, June 7th
Temple Mount - We began our day on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount. Now covered in Mosques, but is one of the most important and holiest sites for Jews. Couples weren't allowed to touch or kiss on this site because it would be offensive, that was harder than we expected :) Seeing the place that is supposedly where the Holy of Holies was, that was just cool. It's amazing how this lines up with the Golden Gates (where the Messiah will return through) and the Mt. of Olives.
Western Wall - We spent some time at the Western Wall, reflecting, praying and just observing. I really loved seeing this. I loved seeing the passion of the Jewish people and how desperate they are for God and how intently they pray. I have a whole new respect for these people. Seeing this site was one of my favorites!
Western Wall Tunnels - We ventured down through the Western Wall Tunnels, where the Arabs built a city up to the level of the Temple Mount. It was very cool to see this underground city where "Warren's Gate" is located which is the closest point the Jewish people can get to the Holy of Holies to pray. It was incredible to see the people sitting in this little cave praying!
Hezekiah’s Tunnel - I was a little nervous about this, but I was so excited to go through this tunnel so I did it! This tunnel was an aqueduct built in the rein of King Hezekiah. The tunnel was pitch black and had water up to our calves most of the way through, to our thighs at some points. I wore a hat so I couldn't see the top of the tunnel and get too claustrophobic but I kept hitting my head :) It was actually really fun!
Temple Institute - We spent some time with this foundation who is attempting to rebuild the temple. They have been raising money for years and putting everything into all the gadgets and gizmos needed for the temple. Don't worry....they already have their 3 million dollar menorah. However, they need a few more in case you have some extra cash just laying around.
South Temple Steps - It was an incredible day exploring through Jerusalem! We saw and took in so much. To finish off the day, we spent a little more time on the southern side of the Temple Mount at the Southern Steps. These were the steps Mary would have taken when she brought Jesus to the temple to be circumcised. A lot of the original stone is still there. I just can't get over the fact that we are walking the streets that Jesus walked.
WOW. We did a lot today! Tomorrow...more of Jerusalem!