Friday, May 20, 2005

Israel - Day 7

On day seven we visited a scale model of the entire old city. It is an amazing replica of the second temple period. The second temple was enormous compared to the present day Dome of the Rock. It consisted of three areas. The outer area was open to all Jews and gentiles. The middle area was a Holy area reserved for Jews. The inner area called the Holy of the Holies was restricted to all but one high priest. The High Priest was often old so they would tie bells to his leg and a golden chain to his body in case he died in the Holy of Holies and nobody could get him out.

We then visited the Museum of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls are written in Aramaic and Hebrew and can still be read by modern Jews. Seeing such old documents gives a sense of culture one does not feel so deeply in Colorado (with it's 200 year anglo history.) Apologies to the Anasazi of course.

A tour of the Holocaust Museum was my second most memorable event. Such a sense of loss and evil in this place. The round room that contains hundreds of books containing the names of the 6 million Jews who were killed was overwhelming.

I made the bus late waiting for Michelle outside the bathroom. The bishop was not too pleased with me ;-) But we made it to lunch at Kibbutz Raja Rahel. This is the site of the tomb of Rachel who died in child birth.

After lunch we travelled to the Garden of Gatsemeny which was designed by Antonio Bertuzi. 12 countries donated money to build the church. Each country has a dome with their own design. The olive trees here are older than the time of Jesus.

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