Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Old City of Jerusalem

Today we toured the old city...

King David's Tomb:  David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. And David was king over Israel for forty years, he was king 7 years in Hevron and 33 years in Jerusalem... I Kings 2:10-11.


With the reading of Psalm 23, we entered a traditional burial place of King David on Mt. Zion.


...and entering the old city, we marveled at the reconstructed Ramban synagogue...


...made our way to the Davidson educational center and the Kotel HaMasorti where men and women can pray together in peace...


... and continued to the Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book.  We finished at the Tower of David museum and walked back to the hotel through the new shopping district outside Jaffa Gate. Day 2 was a full day to be sure!

We learned that by walking on the ancient paving stones of our people's history, we could be taken back in time and join in common purpose with our ancestors in the land of Israel.  What a precious experience it is to walk where the great rabbis Hillel and Shammai walked, and to sing the songs of King David in the place where he ruled. How wonderful it is to read from a 2,000 year old scroll of Isaiah here in the city where he proclaimed his prophecy! Such moments change our lives and outlook forever.

On the modern political front, Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced serious escalation against Hamas in Gaza, and committed to continuing strong movements there until the rocket fire ceases. We great this news warmly, knowing that it is only because of the rockets from Gaza that this is happening.  This morning more missiles were aimed at Tel Aviv, though Jerusalem is quiet.  Our tour remains safe and smart, and we are shifting our "southern" itinerary for this Sunday and Monday to a Central/Coastal itinerary to stay out of the way of what needs to be done by the military in the south.  If only we could have continued to the south, as we had planned, but our new touring plan is also exciting and very worthwhile... more to come on this tomorrow.

...If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my strength be also forgotten...

Tomorrow we travel to Masada and the Dead Sea... as we trace the path of the scrolls, and seek the mysteries of the desert. Stay tuned!

- Rabbi Tobin


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