Israel 2019: Part 9 – Ha Kotel, the Pool of Bethesda, Yad Vashem and more

I wish I could transport you Jerusalem so you could experience the tangible presence of God that I felt there. It’s like no other place on earth.

This is a continuation of June 2nd’s adventures. You can read the beginning in part 8.

Ha-Kotel, or better known as the Western Wall or Wailing Wall is located in the Old City of Jerusalem, a place of prayer, sacred to the Jewish people. It is the only remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem (destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE). It may seem unusual, but I have never felt more at home or at rest and peace than when I am in this place. Even the air feels heavy with His presence. It reminds me that I am heaven-bound, and that some day I will never have to leave that feeling of home, rest and peace ever again. I enjoyed this video on the 50th Anniversary of Reunification by Rabbi Sacks. I hope you will like it too.

Our visit to the Western Wall Tunnels afforded us the opportunity to view the history, architecture and geography of the Temple Mount from a unique perspective. Herodian stones, words carved by Roman soldiers, a beautiful synagogue, a dig going down through layers over 2,000 years old and more.

From there we walked through the crowded streets of the Muslim quarter (passing Israelis celebrating Jerusalem Day) on our way to the Pool of Bethesda excavation site. It’s the place in John 5:2-18 where Jesus told the man, “Stand up, take your mat and walk,” and immediately he was made well.

After that was a wonderful healing service at St. Ann’s church. This beautiful and historic church marks the traditional site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim and the birthplace of the Virgin Mary. The acoustics were marvelous and the presence of the Lord was sweet as we prayed, worshiped, and received his healing touch.

The last place visited that day was Yad Vashem. It is not a pleasant place, but it is a place that must be visited. It’s uncomfortable, even horrific to see and hear what the Jews experienced during the holocaust. My mind knows it is true, but my heart just cannot understand. The stories and images are heart-wrenching. The most difficult part was the memorial to all the children whose lives were cut short. Truly this is something that humanity must never forget. The best part was learning about The Righteous Among the Nations, non-Jews who took great risks to save Jews from the holocaust. You may enjoy reading some of these stories.

We ended the day with a last night celebration dinner where we honored our tour guides and bus drivers. I may be partial, but I think the Red Bus had the best – shout out to Harrison, Moti, Julie, Lily and Shiree (smile).

Part 10 will be coming next, with the last day of my 2019 trip to Israel. For now I will close with these thoughts from the Word:
Hebrews 11:10 TPT — His (Abraham’s) eyes of faith were set on the city with unshakable foundations, whose architect and builder are God himself.
Hebrews 12:22b TPT — …for we have entered the city of the Living God, which is the New Jerusalem in heaven! We have joined the festal gathering of myriads of angels in their joyous celebration.

All Scripture quotations are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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