Monday, October 25, 2010

Blog 9 Wailing Wall, Two Tunnels, Temple Institute, City of David, Pool of Siloam

Blog 9 Wailing Wall, Temple Tunnel Tour, Institute of Temple Mt. Studies, the City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam
Host & Hostess at work :O)
What an exciting day this proved to be (like the others have not been :O)). Today we had the privilege of walking through two tunnels. I sure wish that you had been here to walk with us. Maybe next time you will be here.

The day began early and breakfast was good. I love watching how all the people from so many different places make their way around the buffet offerings and finally to their tables to eat. The food has been absolutely great. No chance to lose any weight here. 
Explaining the Temple Mt.

Our first visit was to the Wailing Wall area. It was there that our subterranean excursion began. What an awesome thing it was to descend about 20-25 feet below the Wailing Wall Plaza and walk about 400 yards North along the Western wall of the Temple Mount. It was along this intriguing path that we stopped at a place where we saw several Jewish women either reading the Torah or praying. We were told by Mauri that at that spot along our path that the Holy of Holiest would have been about 130 meters or roughly 100 yards away.
Jewish women pryaing 24/7

What is significant about that? Many things, but just to name one I enjoy telling, the Jews believe there are three holy places in the world. The first is the nation of Israel itself. The second is the Temple Mount area. (It is there, as you already know, that Abraham offered Isaac, David offered a sacrifice to the Lord after purchasing the property from a man named Ornan. It was there that Solomon built the first of three Temples. Enough?) The third holy place is the place where the Ark of the Covenant sat in the Temple. It is believed by the Jews that stone upon which the Ark rested is the geographical center of the world and even the universe. I must tell you, I believe that too.

Model of Temple Mt. and Tunnel in

When the Bible makes reference to some direction, the reference is in relationship to Jerusalem. Marvelous isn’t it?

Our subterranean walk took us to a place in the Old City where we had time to eat lunch and also do some shopping. Speaking of shopping, this group could shop till they drop I believe. I’m telling you, we helped the Israeli economy grow in a number of ways on this pilgrimage. :O) In fact, shopping went so good for some, I think I will put together a “Shopping Pilgrimage to Israel with a few stops as some significant Biblical sites.” What do you think? Could I get enough to make up a group? (just kidding…..:O))
Along the Tunnel

Lunch in the Old City is a special thing. Ice cream, falafels, shwarmas, pizza, fresh baked bread, and snitzel were the favorites. While there near the ‘cardo’ or main street of Jerusalem, we were able to walk around and some of us found our way to some stones that were stones of 2,000 years ago. Stones that, maybe, Jesus walked on when He and his Mother and step-Father visited Jerusalem as the Torah taught them to. Or stones that, maybe, Jesus walked on when He and His apostles visited the Old City during His three years of public ministry. By the way, do you know that the main street of Jerusalem runs East and West? Interesting isn’t it?

After lunch, it was a very short walk to the Institute of Temple Mount Studies. While there, we listened to a general presentation about the third temple that is yet to be built and about the efforts that have been made to provide the utensils and other paraphernalia associated with the worship to be performed there in the days to come.

While we were there, we saw the garments of the High Priest, smelled a mixture of spices used to burn as incense, the golden altar, the table of showbread, and several other items associated with worship prescribed by God. Some people wonder about the building of a new Temple and whether or not it will happen. Well, just read 2 Thessalonians chapter two (among other passages of Scripture), and see for yourself about what the anti-Chirst soon after the Church has been snatched away. According to Ezekiel’s writings, sacrifices will once again be offered, not in an expiatory manner but as a means by which to remember what Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Yasweh Hamashiach has done.
Probably Israel's future
national symbol

From there, we walked toward the Wailing Wall to the Dung gate and to our bus. As we did, we passed a ‘menorah’ that is a part of the preparations made by the Institution of Temple Mount Studies. It is a remarkable piece of craftsmanship. The gold needed to create this important one piece of Temple furniture was a gift of one individual and we guesstimated its value to be something like 1.4 million dollars. Wow! By the way, I personally believe that the menorah will once again become the national symbol for the nation of Israel. The Star of David will have its place, but not the place is now occupies. Maybe? Maybe not? Time will tell.

We had a short walk to the City of David. The City of David was a Canaanite city occupied by the Jebusites. It was captured by David and his mighty men. It is a great story to read from the Bible. The shape of the City of David looks like a footprint. This old part of Jerusalem does not lie within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem today but it did in the days of David, Solomon, Hezekiah, etc.

While there, we saw a marvelously done 3D movie about this marvelous place. I believe Mauri told us the archeological activity going on at the City of David is one of the largest ongoing projects in Jerusalem today. It is interesting to see the changes and progress that has been made each year we have been privileged to make this amazing journey to Israel.

Descending towards
Hezekiah's Tunnel

As we made our way along the path that has been designed to allow pilgrims to see what has been unearthed, it was not long before we arrived at the place where our group split into two groups. One group would walk through the water course created to bring water from the Gihon Spring laying just outside the City of David into the City of David to a place called the Pool of Siloam. The other group would walk through what we refer to as being a dry tunnel (no water), but both groups would end up at the same place, the Pool of Siloam.

Tight going for some :O)
The water course Debbie and I walked with several others is less than a mile in length. Most of the path is about shoulder width and most people have to stoop over to pass through so as not to hit our heads on the limestone ceiling. The water covered our feet all the way through. This was a nice place to have our feet in light of the heat we have been experiencing for the past several days: above average temperatures.

Do you know what the word ‘Siloam’ means? Remember the story in John chapter nine? Remember what Jesus instructed the blind man to do? Remember that Jesus told us Himself that He had been ‘sent’? The discovery of the Pool of Siloam happened not so many years ago. It must have been a very beautiful place in the days of Jesus. We saw an artist’s rendition of what the Pool of Siloam might have looked like. We also saw where this pool was located in reference to the original city of Jerusalem at the Israeli Museum while looking at the model of the City of David on display there. By the way, archaeologist have discovered and made available to the public a set of steps that lead directly to the Temple Mount. I wonder if those were the steps this man, who had been touched by Jesus, traveled on his way to a meeting with his healer?

Artist's rendetion Pool of Siloam

The heat has been very unusual for this time of year. It has been very hot and as you know, heat seems to take its toil on a body. So, back to the Grand Court Hotel for another excellent dinner, our meeting, and a hot shower…not necessarily in that order.

Another day here in Israel lies before us. But sad to say, not many do. Our days are growing short in this land marked our by God and for God.

So, until the morrow,