Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 19 - We started this morning with preparations to visit the Old City and the Dome of the Rock.  The Muslims really don't like to see any skin on women, so we tried our best to accommodate. 

 We started off to the Old City and headed for the Western Wall.  This is the only wall standing from the Temple Mount of the 2nd Temple Period and is actually a reinforcement wall.  This is as close as the Jews can get to the place where their temple stood. It was really neat to see two doves perched on the wall.

We then proceeded to the Temple Mount to see the Dome of the Rock.  As you can see some of us were still not adequately dressed and had to wrap up in scarves.

 When we left the mount we traveled to the next site that was the Pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the man that could not walk or make it to the pool when the angel stirred the waters
 Every time we come we have to sing in St Anne's that has the best acoustics I have ever heard.  We all actually sounded like we could sing - as long as we remembered the words.
 Our next stop was the Antonio Fortress
and onto the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
Our final stop for the day was at the gold menorah that has been made for the thrid temple.  Some of the Jews are making the articles that they will put into the 3rd temple when it is built on the temple mount.  Of course that would mean that the Dome of the Rock and the mosque that is there now would have to be destroyed and that would definitely start World War 3.  Most Jews don't even want the temple to be rebuilt.  This is a very interesting variety of cultures that you experience here.
After dinner most of the group went to the Rabbinic Tunnel along the western wall.  They have almost the whole wall excavated and have found some huge Herodian Stones that are bigger then the ones used in the pyramids in Egypt.

When they all got back to the hotel we met in the bar to wish John & Maxine a happy anniversary and then off to bed.

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