Mount of Olives to the Lions Gate
Mount of Olives
Since it was the Sabbath, our trusty rental car was locked in the parking lot for the day. We opted to take taxis to the top of the mount of olives to start our day. It is bizarre that the mound of ours now sits in the middle of fire Palestinian villages. This is because Lebanon controlled this area open till the 1967 six day war where Israel took back the land all the way to the Jordan so the arabs that were living there Stayed and it is now Palestinian. Don’t get confused Palestinians live there but they are his really citizens and it is under the control of Israel.
It is an incredible feeling to be standing on the mount of olives looking over Jerusalem in the same way that Jesus did 2000 years ago. This is likely the spot where Jesus wept over the city and be moaning the fact that he would have gathered them like a hen gathers her chickens under his wings but they would not have it. From there we walked down into the Kidron Valley to the location that was very likely the garden of Gethsemane. There are olive trees here that are nearly 1000 years old. There is also a very cool church here variously called the church of agony, or the church of all nations, Like so many of the Franciscan churches rebuilt in the 20th century, this one was designed by Antonio Baluchi. It was kind of amazing that and use alabaster for the windows so that it would be dark inside because the events from the new testament that occurred in Gethsemane occurred at night. Also The paintings on ceiling depicted stars it further enhances the impression that you are there at night time .
The side of the mount of olives is covered with Jewish tombs. This is because they all want to be resurrected first win the Messiah comes. I hated to tell them that the Messiah already came. So we left well enough alone. It is sad to see there’s quite a few tombs were desecrated and smashed by the Lebonese when they were controlling this part of Israel.
Lunch in Jerusalem
We reached the bottom of the Kidron Valley which runs down the hill between the mount of olives and the city of Jerusalem. We then climbed back up the other side of the valley, and entered through the Lions gate which is they’re on the east wall . Once inside the city, our next agenda item was lunch. We went to a cafeteria style restaurant with lots of space for large groups. Not surprisingly, that the food was unremarkable. But, on the bright side, we did get another sense of why we didn’t want to do large tours..
So the history behind the western wall is that when Herod the Great decided to build a temple he always did things in the Roman style and did it withoverkill. He built a huge foundation wall around the temple mount in order to have a foundation for the temple. This is now wear the mask and the dome of the rock now six. So the western wall is the only area that is completely Jewish and so that is where people write there prayers on paper and tuck them into the wall. There is a men’s and women’s side of the wall and they pray separately.. Jim and I were taken to a small alcove along the wall that is full of books and Jewish religious decoration. Here there is teaching and praying and you can see a variety of different Sects of Juseaism as evidenced by theit attire.
At some point during our wandering through a Jerusalem. I can’t remember exactly what day. We saw a mickva,Which is a ritual bath the Jews are used to purify themselves when they are ceremonially unclean. Avi made a huge point that this wasn’t related to stand. For example women are ceremonially unclean during their period. This particular bath had steps going in and railing in the middle and steps coming out. So we are assuming it was for one sex only. And they went in on one side and came out on the other so they didn’t accidentally bump someone and make them unclean again.
Rooftop dinner at Notre Dame