If you know the answer, then you know where we started our day.
This morning, our intrepid adventurers traversed the excavated Western Wall tunnels that run the distance of the ancient retaining wall that held up the massive Temple Mount where the ancient temple in Israel once stood. Since this is the only remnant remaining of this holiest place in Jewish tradition, we have developed the practice of facing this wall when we pray. So, we do not all face east ... if we're north of the wall, we face south.
Group shot inside the tunnels on the Roman road that once ran at the base of the Western Wall
Together with my father at the Kotel (right before I learned a new lesson about prayer at the Western Wall ... always look up before you start. Just as I finished saying a few prayers, I received a special package from above ... from a pigeon above me. Fun!)
Or Shalom at the Kotel together
Bill and Ron who met during their high school years reunite on this trip and spend time at the holiest of sites, together with Bonnie
Traversing the Cardo, the Roman road in and out of Jerusalem
Today was a day of holies, as we also visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site Christianity believes Jesus was crucified, laid to be washed, and some say buried.
Anyone who has visited in the last few decades might remember this part of the Church as being almost black... they just reopened it after cleaning it off in a major project. This is its actual color!
Anyway, we learned first hand the craziness of this weekend in Jerusalem. The tunnels normally let out into the Muslim quarter, but because of the extra anticipated traffic due to the holiday of Ramadan, we had to backtrack and go back out of the entrance.
Our wonderful bus driver, Salman, who is Muslim, has been fasting each day of our trip because of the holiday. (Also, his newest grandchild was just born, so we wished him Mubruk, which is Mazal Tov in Arabic).
From there, we toured the Old City of Jerusalem and went ALL OVER. Those with fitbits racked up over 9 miles (about 14.4 kilometers), since we had to walk back to our hotel, recognizing all the street closures due to Ramadan.
We had some time to prepare for Shabbat and watch the city wind down before making our way to Kol Haneshamah, a Reform congregation here in Jerusalem, for services. Shabbat Shalom to all!