15 February, 2013

Jerusalem: Old Testament

This field study in Jerusalem was based on locations that encapsulate the incredible history of the Old Testament. 

This is a model of what Jerusalem looked like before the first temple was destroyed, and there was even a piece of the original wall here which King Hezekiah (who ruled around 700 BC) fortified to ensure the security of the city.

Walking through part of the Jewish quarter

This map shows the ancient Roman cardo of Jerusalem, basically lively streets where there were many shops/vendors.

So, there were a ton of soldiers standing in a crowd outside the southern gate of the Old City, Zion Gate. Bill told me to go straight into the middle of them by myself for a picture. I argued with him for a little bit but then figured hey, why not. And they all cooperated! It was a funny lil scene hah

Then my girl Becky came to my aid

In Israel, all men and women must serve in the IDF - Israel Defense Forces

The lady soldiers of Israel with our wonderful Kansas men :) haha

We had our fun then walked to a pretty amazing place--the traditionally accepted room where the Lord’s Passover (what we know as the Last Supper) took place. Though this can’t be the same room since it was built during crusader times, it's likely that it is near the correct location. Bill read Luke 22 to us.

And I saw a sleepy kitty so I went and rescued it and let it rest on my lap while we sat and listened :) 

Next place was a Catholic cemetery which is noted for its grave of Oskar Schindler.

Walked to a museum which contained ancient tombs that can be successfully dated to the prophet Jeremiah's time (around 600 BC)

Hellooo down there :) Bill explaining how they used these same tombs so many years ago

The bodies would be laid in these designated spots until all the flesh and organs have decayed (about a year), then the bones would be collected and stored. Taylor and Bryant demonstrated..haha

Then some of our group crawled into the creepy dead people cave!!!! hahaah


Continuing to walk around Jerusalem, Bill had us pull to the side and make pyramids. Little Arab children were laughing and pointing at us and taking pictures hahahaha
My pyramid was victorious!

The females. almost had it!! next time ;)

The men!

Finally 2pm arrived and it was time for us to make our way to Hezekiah's Tunnel!! My group was really looking forward to this. This ancient underground tunnel was originally carved during King Hezekiah’s reign so the Gihon Spring could be accessed (water is very precious in Israel!) all the way to the Pool of Siloam. The tunnel confirms the biblical account of 2 Kings 25.

This was a view into the excavation going on underground..so much history to be found here!

We changed into shorts and water sandals and began descending into the tunnel which lies about 100 feet underground, is a third of a mile long, and is filled with water. Crazy, right?! It was seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!

So the thing about Hezekiah's tunnel..is that it's very wet. I had to keep my camera inside my backpack, but I did take my phone out for a little! At some points the water was up to my waist :) haha. The walls are tight and the ceilings (for the most part) are short, so even lil 5'4" me had to hunch down and squeeze through for little awhile there. Probably a nightmare for anyone claustrophobic but we all managed ;) 

We made it out alive!!! with most of us already eager to do it again.

 The great group photographer, Bill Schlegel. Finest self-pic this side of the Atlantic Ocean, no doubt

Indiana Rivka, ladies and gentlemen

 That concluded our day! Every part was just wonderful..I can't get enough of Jerusalem!!

Shabbat (updated)

These next photos are a small collection of my adventures in the Old City a few days earlier on Shabbat :) Below is where we ate for lunch. Lamb kabob sandwich..YUM

Figuring out where to go next.. maps are your best friend!

Bryant found a kitty!

The view from where we were.. overlooking the Western wailing wall, essential to the Jewish religion. Just beyond that is the Dome of the Rock, essential to the Muslim religion. Interesting that they are so close. Jerusalem is so diverse.

Then the kitty posed in front of the awesome view for me :)

 At the end of a good day, we went to Christ Church by Jaffa Gate and sat down with some hot drinks. Naturally me and my feline friend (really, this cat is always here!) found our way to each other and it snuggled on my lap for a bit. I love all the cats here hahahah

[thank you Jesus for these amazing opportunities]