Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 7

Monday, February 23, 2015

For our last 2 days in Israel we've spent most of our in time Jerusalem. I personally felt so blessed to be able to visit the area of the Temple Mount. This is because not everyone is allowed to enter. In other words I'm privileged enough to be setting foot on the holiest and hottest property on the face of the earth. Do check out my post: Israel Travel Itinerary for more travel tips and inspirations.

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

I feel like floating. I don't want this moment to end. The weather is just perfect for our visit to the area. However don't expect this to be a peaceful place. It's always eventful. There are always commotions and tensions rising around this area and let's say we are fortunate to have witnessed it live beyond the monitors of our computer. 

THE TEMPLE MOUNT

This is one of the most controversial and hotly contested sites in the world. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, it has special significance to the Jews as it was the site of both the First and Second Temples. May Jews also believe that the Temple Mount is the site of the third and final Temple to be built. The Temple Mount also had great significance to the Muslims.

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

The Dome of the Rock, believed to be the spot from which the prophet Muhammad ascended through the heavens to God accompanied by the archangel Gabriel, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are located here.

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

The Temple Mount was built on Mount Moriah, where Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22). It was also where Jesus was presented in the Temple by His earthly parents Joseph and Mary and years later where He stayed behind to debate with the teachers (Luke 2:22-50). The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom when Jesus died at the cross (Matthew 27:51).

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

THE DOME OF THE TABLETS / SPIRITS

This is located on the Temple Mount, just north of the Dome of the Rock. There is a theory by Dr. Asher Kaufman that this dome marks the site of the Holy of Holies in the Second Temple, as the east-west line aligning the Mount of Olives with the Eastern Gate and the Temple cuts through this very location.

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

The first column photo in the picture shows our vantage point standing near the Eastern Gate. This is significant because the Holy of Holies stands directly in line to the Eastern Gate. So to find the Holy of Holies, you have to find the Eastern Gate first and then look to the east to find it's exact location. In the photo above it is on the second column right side.

THE WESTERN WALL

This is part of the retaining wall from the time of the Second Temple and is the most sacred structure in Judaism. Jews have been praying at the Western Wall for centuries as it is the nearest accessible point to the Holy of Holies.

Western Wall or Wailing Wall Jerusalem Israel

If you look closer at then you will find small pieces of rolled paper placed on the cracks of the wall.

SOUTHERN STEPS

Excavations here have unearthed the southern steps, a flight of stairs that led to the main entrances of the Temple Mount. Other interesting finds here include a first-century street, a series of public ritual bathing wells (mikveh) for pilgrims to purify themselves before entering holy places and ruins of Solomon's stables. This is probably where the 3,000 were baptised when they were saved on Pentecost (Acts 2:37-41).

Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel
Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel
Southern Steps Temple Mount Jerusalem Israel

Before we came in to this location. We we're first ushered to a small museum to watch a short movie clip of what it must be like during Jesus' time. Afterwards we have a small sharing and fellowship at the area.


THE JEWISH QUARTERS

In the southwest corner of the Old City, is where the remains of a north-south colonnaded street the Cardo, complete with some of the original Roman columns, can be found. Just beyond the columns is an underground mall where you will find Jewish stores and art galleries. Hezekiah's Broad Wall was built in the late-8th century BCE on orders from the Judean king Hezekiah. It was built hurriedly in preparation for the invasion of the Assyrian army under Sennacherib. The wall surrounded the settlement area that had expanded to occupy the western hill of Jerusalem, outside the original "City of David".

The Jewish Quarters Jerusalem Israel

The holes on the wall you see on the photo above are not architectural designs. Those are bullet holes during the Six Day War.

These are still sites to visit after this area so we stopped by to at least suppress our hunger by having this bagels.

The Jewish Quarters Jerusalem Israel
The Jewish Quarters Jerusalem Israel

This is the place called Cardo mentioned above. The pillars you see are original 2000 year old pillars as well as the pavement we're standing on.

Jerusalem Israel Travel Guide

Finally it's time for lunch. By this time I'm already not feeling too well. Uggghh!! There are still more sites to visit and last minute shopping to do. I don't want to miss it. However the body has it's way of screaming at me to rest. I have to obliged because we will be going back to Singapore (11 hour flight) tomorrow after the tour so I need to recharge. Glad my husband accompanied me. Awww! So in love. My friends told me that it's not really that I miss that much because they just went to the museum and to the market after they've dropped me to the hotel. Below are the sites I've missed.

ISRAEL MUSEUM

This museum housed some of the most amazing pieces of archaeological artifacts ever uncovered such as the Dead Sea Scrolls which are the oldest known copies of the Old Testament books, in the Shrine of the Book.

HOLY LAND MODEL

This is a complete scale mode of Jerusalem during Jesus's time, this is a great visual aid for visitors. Our tour to Israel is almost over. :(

UP NEXT  :  Israel Pilgrimage : DAY 8.



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