Israel – Part 5

I found great delight in exploring the Old City of Jerusalem, on foot because most of the Old City is made of narrow streets, some of them with many steps, where no motor vehicle can go.

Here is a tower near Jaffa Gate, built by the Crusaders.

And a typical street scene, although often the streets are much more crowded than this one.

There are eight gates through the city wall into the Old City; seven of them are in use. The Golden Gate, facing east toward the Mount of Olives, is closed. Here is the Damascus Gate.

If you look closely at the above photo, you will see the pushcart of a street vendor. Here is a closer look.

The vendor was selling breads. The oval ring bread on the left is covered with sesame seeds. I bought one of the smaller loaves on the right; it was filled with a date mixture at the edges. The vendor declined to have his photo taken with his cart.

One of the prime attractions in the Old City is the Western (or Wailing) Wall and the mosque known as the Dome of the Rock. These two, as you may know, are located adjacent to each other in the southeast corner of the Old City.

The Western Wall.

I came across this group of Spanish-speakers. They seemed to be observing bar mitzvah for the young man in the center.

Not far from the Wall is this 6-foot tall menorah, made of pure gold. The sign says it is the first one to me made in modern times according to the exact instructions given in the Law of Moses. Conservative Jews expect to rebuild the temple some day, so this piece is ready for that day.

This gives you a feel for the relative positions of the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock. The Dome is located (no surprise here) on the east side of the Western Wall.

The mosque is stunning, a photographer’s delight.

From the Dome you look east over the Kidron Valley to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations, and the slope going up to the Mount of Olives.

Returning to thoughts about the Western Wall, in another part of the city along one street a construction fence features an artist’s depiction of the Wall that is strikingly realistic.

Next, let’s walk to the southwest corner of the Old City and go out through Zion Gate. On a side street is a statue to King David.

Then we walk a few steps and up a stairs and we come to the Upper Room. Certainly not the one in which Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, but suggestive of it.

A special place to meditate and pray – if you can get there before the next bus load of tourists! Along one wall is an art piece of an olive tree.

On another wall was a niche that begged as a photo opportunity for some celebrity. But since there was no celebrity….

At one shop I saw a T-shirt that said” “I walked my feet of in Jerusalem.” That certainly resonated with my experience.

Outside the Old City you find olive trees growing everywhere.

The olive tree – a symbol of God’s enduring purposes for the Jews, the church and the whole world.

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