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April 29: Jewish Quarter
We first went to the Western Wall where I blessed the rings for Stan and Brian. Then we saw the amazing Chain of Generations. This dramatic display of glass sculptures showed and explained the history of the Jews from the first Temple to today. The only words on the sculptures were names of those Jews who came before. The destruction of the first temple and then the rebuilding of Israel are shown.
After finishing with the first museum, we went with a tour guide through the tunnels along the Wall where it is possible that the First and Second Temples were located. It was a wonderful tour full of historical insights. Stan entered the Wall near the Great Temple and where the Dome of the Rock is located.
After a very nice lunch, we set off to explore the Jewish Quarter. Within minutes we arrived at Hurva Temple and discovered that within 20 minutes there would be a tour in English. We headed down to buy a ticket and then explored the history of the Hurva Temple in the Jewish Quarter. We ended our day by strolling though the Jewish Quarter, and got gifts for Erin, Erica, & Brittany. It was a great day in Jerusalem.
I've noticed throughout our time here in Israel that instead of being hard to worship as it is in America, you are surrounded with so many holy sites and so many people wearing reminders of their devotion to God that it is hard not to remember God as you journey through the day. Everywhere you go, there are yarmulkes, black hats, crosses, Stars of David, frocks, bekishes, and shtreimels. You see most people carrying a copy of the Bible or Torah. Sometimes, their heads are bowed in prayer. It is quite moving to see and feel the entire reverent heart beat of Jerusalem. So unlike America.
Yesterday I came close to tears at the Chain of Generation exhibition/drama commemorating the survival of the Jewish people. A searing Holocaust story as a backdrop to the reflections of an Israeli soldier who helped liberate Jerusalem made my throat tighten. But my eyes were only slightly moist.