This is the third part in a multi-post description of my recent visit to Israel. To start from the beginning, go here.
Our third day in Israel began as we awoke in the beautiful small town of Efrat, the home of the Old Testament characters Ruth and Boaz. Biblical mentions of Ephrath >>
Every entrance door post in Israel, including each of our hotel room doors, had a mezuzah (pictured below – excellent Wikipedia article). These were sometimes ornate and occasionally modern, like above. These fixtures each contain a piece of paper with the passage of Deuteronomy hand copied onto it by a scribe. The Jews believe this fulfills the requirement of the Old Testament teaching to write the words of the Scriptures on your doorposts. As far as I could tell, there was no way to open up the container to read the Scriptures inside.
Breakfast was at a local cafe. The food was absolutely amazing, and our host for the morning, Rabbi Shmuel Bowman made these mornings in Efrat a favorite part of my trip.
Rabbi Shmuel accompanied us on our drive to Jerusalem.
The next few photos are on the grounds of the Jerusalem Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.
One of the box cars used to transport Jews during the Holocaust.
Under the tracks, people had stacked stones as a representation of their presence.
One large part of the memorial experience is large stone maze area, called the Valley of the Destroyed Communities. Even our tour guide was a little nervous about getting turned around.
Quick video panorama of the area.
This area at the top of the hill was dedicated to the children of the Holocaust who lost their lives.
The view of Jerusalem from the top of the children’s memorial.
Walking around the wall of Jerusalem and into the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. Like so many of the places we visited, we had to keep things quick and focused on filming, so it was a little painful to know we were missing out on so much.
This was a neat orange tree in the middle of a courtyard.
This modern symbol for Jerusalem was used throughout the Jewish Quarter and symbolizes both the Menorah, the lamp stand used in the Jewish Temple, and the building of the city.
It is unknown what this huge column base was used for, but there’s a possibility that it was a part of Solomon’s Colonnade or maybe even the Temple.
A couple of symbols of the Promised Land of Israel, shown by the large cluster of grapes carried by the men who were spying out the land during Israel’s time in the wilderness. The center symbol shows the Lion of Judah, and the Hebrew inscription above is “Jerusalem” (again, right to left), pronounced Ye-roo-sa-lime.
I was surprised at how clean the city was, and although there were a few shops like the one above, it was fairly minimal, a nice contrast to most tourist locations.
Lunch at the Shwarma Bar.
Shwarma plate for me, and a Falafel plate for Chad.
After lunch we walked a ways and then entered a building. We weren’t told where we were, but we ascended a couple of flights of stairs and came out on top of the building. This is the view we saw when we came out at the top.
The glass enclosure behind Micah is a large replica of the Second Temple. The gold-topped structure is the Muslim holy place, The Dome of the Rock, which sits in the exact location where the Jewish Temple used to be.
Here on the right you can see the “Wailing Wall” or Western Wall of Jerusalem. This is the oldest part of the wall, and the lower half dates back to the time of the Second Temple. This is considered a very sacred location to the Jewish people, and it is a location where many come to pray or worship.
Quick video panorama of the view.
On our way out of Jerusalem and headed to the Mount of Olives, we also had time to see this replica Menorah, the lamp from the Jewish Temple..
Next up, the Mount of Olives. (Part 4)