temple emanu-el
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Historic Jerusalem


 
Standing in front of a mural depicting
the market of Jerusalem circa the year zero
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

we had a wonderful first day in Jerusalem! It began with a short ride from the hotel to the Old City. There, the holiest sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam sit side by side. Avi, our guide, gave us an overview of the centuries of history that were before us. We toured the Jewish Quarter, where Jews were forced from their homes in 1948 and returned in 1967.

We all held hands as we approached the Temple Mount from above and saw the Western Wall (the Kotel) for the first time. What a sight! The next stop was the Southern Wall, where each family composed its own family prayer. We toured the tunnels along the Western Wall and saw the many layers of history of this historic and sacred site.

We were able to spend time at the Kotel and place our handwritten prayers in the spaces between the large stones. It was a special and moving experience. Then, it was a walk through the narrow, bustling streets of the Arab Quarter. We had time for lunch (falafel, pizza, shwarma!) and some shopping.

After lunch it was off to the Judean foothills for an archaeological dig at Bet Guvrin Caves. We got our hands dirty as we uncovered pottery and other remains from the Hellenistic period, 2,300 years ago. For the adventurous among us, we crawled through candlelit caves full of narrow passages. It was an exciting and fun-filled afternoon.

The drive back to Jerusalem was quiet as we looked out the windows at the beautiful, desolate Judean landscape and listened to Avi tell us of what we had in store for us on Thursday. (Masada!)

— The Janover Family


Back to Israel Journal (2009)


Click on the thumbnails below to download and print
larger versions of the photos.


In the alleyways of the Old City of Jerusalem
In the alleyways of the Old City of Jerusalem
Kids help Avi find our location in Jerusalem
Kids help Avi find our location in Jerusalem
Thinking about how lucky we are to be able to come to Jerusalem
Thinking about how lucky we are to be able to come to Jerusalem
First view of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount
First view of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount
On the rooftops of Jerusalem near the Temple Mount
On the rooftops of Jerusalem near the Temple Mount
Getting ready to enter the Jaffa Gate
Getting ready to enter the Jaffa Gate
Families composing their family prayers
Families composing their family prayers
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family ascends the Southern Wall steps to offer its prayer
Each family offers its prayer at the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount
Each family offers its prayer at the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount
Approaching the Western Wall and taking a moment for prayer
Approaching the Western Wall and taking a moment for prayer
Just like Temple Emanu-El
Just like Temple Emanu-El
Checking out a huge stone in the Western Wall tunnel
Checking out a huge stone in the Western Wall tunnel
It's amazing how long the Western Wall tunnels are!
It's amazing how long the Western Wall tunnels are!
Inside the Western Wall tunnels
Inside the Western Wall tunnels
A pillar in what used to be the marketplace and is now in the Western Wall tunnel
A pillar in what used to be the marketplace and is now in the Western Wall tunnel
Having some fun in the tunnel
Having some fun in the tunnel
Standing in front of an ancient cistern in the Western Wall tunnel
Standing in front of an ancient cistern in the Western Wall tunnel
Getting ready to dig in the Judean Hills
Getting ready to dig in the Judean Hills
Each hand represents another layer of history
Each hand represents another layer of history
Going into the caves we'll excavate
Going into the caves we'll excavate
Kids with our great archeological dig guide, Mark
Kids with our great archeological dig guide, Mark
Digging up history from 2,100 years ago
Digging up history from 2,100 years ago
The stuff we're finding is from the time of the Maccabees.
The stuff we're finding is from the time of the Maccabees.
Digging is fun!
Digging is fun!
Check out the cool pot bottom!
Check out the cool pot bottom!
What will we find in this spot?
What will we find in this spot?
Seeing if they can get any more meat off of this 2,000-year-old bone
Seeing if they can get any more meat off of this 2,000-year-old bone
Looking for additional pieces of pottery in the dirt we brought out of the cave
Looking for additional pieces of pottery in the dirt we brought out of the cave
Entering the cave for some spelunking
Entering the cave for some spelunking
Going spelunking!
Going spelunking!
Showing off their diplomas from Dig-for-a-Day
Showing off their diplomas from Dig-for-a-Day
photo of temple
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