Thursday, May 19, 2005

Israel - Day 6

Our Jerusalem experience started on day six. First we visited the site of the jewish priests house where Jesus was chained in the dungeon. It is also the site of the oldest road in Jerusalem. The church on this site has many rooster pictures and sculptures in remembrance of Jesus' quote that he would be denied 3 times before the cock crowed. In Psalm 88 David predicts this scene.

We journeyed to the Dome of the Rock and got special passage from our tour guide. It is a very beautiful mosque and very inspiring. Inside is the rock that Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac on. The Muslems believe it is the place where Mohammad ascended to heaven. We were not allowed to take bibles into the square or for anyone to preach. An old muslim lady stroked Michelle's hair for good luck. To there credit the Muslims offered the Jews a chance to build a third temple on the rock, but the Jews believe that the final temple will descend from heaven.

At the Western Wall I witnessed my first Bar Mitsvahs. The Jews have large and elaborate Torah scrolls as well as boxes of prayers on their heads and shoulders. Men and women are separated at the wall and men have to wear a yamika. Michelle and I each put a prayer in the wall.

We took a tour of an archeological excavation under the Northern portion of the wall that the jews have explored. Under it is a scale model of the inner city. At one point you are closest a Jew can get to the holy of the holies. Michelle felt especially spiritual here.

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