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Monday, June 15, 2009

Boker Tov

It's not morning where we are but its definitely morning for you..so Boker Tov y'all. Its about 5 in the afternoon here and we just finished our first day of digging...however let me catch up you up on our Jerusalem visit.

Saturday night we ended the day with a game of Settlers of Cataan...yes, we brought it. A guy here knew how to play and it was great to hang out and meet new friends. Since Saturday is Shabbot ( Shabbath) here in Israel we were going to visit Jerusalem on Sunday, which is the first day of the work week.
We got up early on Sunday and left for Jerusalem by 7:30. We had a 30 minute drive there but since it was the beginning of the work week we got caught in morning rush hour traffic and got here an hour later. You literaly drive up into the mountains to get into Jerusalem. Our tour guide was vey thorough.....and Jewish..so he was skeptical about alot of sites we went to. Some interesting facts that he told us are
1. Israel is the birthplace of the cell phone
2. They produce lots and lots of medications.
3. Every house had a solar water heater
4. Cars here are ridiculously expensive. 4 years ago the prime minister lowered the taxes on them to 100% (thats right)...so a 12,000 car cost you 24,000. Most people take out a car loan with thier mortgage loan. Jerusalem is trying to cut down on the use of cars though by building railroad systems and taxing people to come into the city.
5. Jerusalem is the political capital of Israel and Tel Aviv is the financial capital.
The first thing we see when we enter Jerusalem is the West wall of the Old Jerusalem...I think say " this is crazy" like 100 times. We stop at the City of David which is right outside of the walls and you can immediately see the Mount of Olives. Its covered in Jewish graves but its still amazing. Our group headed to Hezekiah's tunnel to walk through it. I choose not to go because at some points you have to duck and you are up to your knees in water..i am pretty sure I will panic. So Adam went and took a camera with him to get pictures....he says it was neat. The tunnel was built by King Hezekiah right before Sanachaerib took over the city. It ends at the Shiloach Pool where Jesus sent the blind men to wash the mud off of his eyes after he had healed him. I, along with two others, met the rest of the group there...after treking through the City of David and getting fresh figs from locals..yummy.
We then entered Jerusalem through the South Gate..or the dung gate, close to the Dome of the Rock. There are four quarters in Jerusalem...christian, jewish, muslim and another we can't remember. We instantly see the minarette where muslims are called to pray 5 times a day.You can see the wailing wall when we go up some steps. We are going there on a later visit to Jerusalem and we notice that men and women enter seperately. The jews inside are praying to the wall, as this is the closest place to where the temple used to be.
We also see a certain ledge in the city where our tour guide says Jesus was tempted by Satan.
In the Jewish quarter a huge golden menorah is in a glass case just waiting for the third temple to rebuilt.
We see the remains of a city that the Romans tried to buill there....its a grid and was at least 6 lanes wide....there are leftover columns from that.
The Christian quarter is very old ( the jewish quarter was recently rebuilt) and narrow.
We eat at Shabbad's two shops. He gives us Falaffel ( forgive our spelling) that is stuffed with french fries, chicken with curry, tomatoes and cucmbers...sounds gross but is oohhhh so good! We drink "soft drinks"....it ain't no pepsi but it will do.
We exchange some money for shekels...which right now is 3.92 to our one dollar.
Then we are off the Church of the Holy Seplechur , which was built by Helena, the mother of Constantine. Inside are supposedly the tomb of Christ and the stone he was laid on to be prepared for burial. There are many people lighting candles and kissing the stone.
Last stop is the tower of David, which is one of the possible beginning places for Villa Della Rosa.
We get home exhausted and instantly pass out. We wake up for a lecture ( a welcome/orientation) and dinner. Tomorrow is our first day at Tel Gezer digging..YAY

City of David Pictures

Jerusalem Pictures

Mount of Olives

3 comments:

  1. Hey, Adam - how bout a little 'down and dirty' techie dig info ??

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  2. Pics are so cool - like walking the streets with you! Can't wait to read more!

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  3. Hey! I linked to your blog, somehow...maybe from Becky Hale, but can't remember. Anyway, we used to go to Heritage until we moved last year. Love the pictures and info! I would love to go to Israel so this the next best thing. Very cool!

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