This is the last part of my series sharing about my 2019 trip to Israel. I hope you have enjoyed it.
Our last day was spent in the old city. We started at the Southern Steps of the Temple Mount and while there we saw ancient stone Mikvah’s used by Jews to take ritual purification baths as they ascended to the temple.
We also visited some archaeological areas, including a stone wall built in the time of King Hezekiah over 2400 years ago. And, that those stones were dry-fit into walls, no mortar was used. And we were shown how even the stones that no longer stood as a wall, were often reused to build again. As a result, there are often very old stones found mixed in with newer ones in some walls.
There was one more quick stop at the Western Wall before we headed for shopping in the Jewish quarter, and for a view of the beautiful Menorah built in preparation of the next temple that stands close to a Synagogue near that area. It was fun to see the school-aged children in the area while we were there.
I enjoyed our visit to the area of The Cardo (HaCardo), and seeing the mural depicting what shopping would have been like there in ancient times, as well as the columns from that time. It was lovely to revisit Shorashim – The Biblical Shop, which I had been to in 2001. I have been reading their monthly newsletter by email ever since, and they are on Facebook too. I bought a lovely necklace there that I will treasure always.
After that, we went back to the Inbal Hotel to take a short break and then pack our suitcases. Shortly after dinner our buses took us back to the airport in Tel Aviv. Our flight was overnight, but it was very busy, and took some time to get through… then there was customs at Newark, NJ after we arrived at about 5:30 am. Our last flight left Newark mid-morning and we were back to the Grand Rapids area around noon. It was a very long day indeed.
Was it tiring? Yes. But, it was so worth it. The experiences, the unforgettable places, the people, the adventure, great teaching, new friendships, and being with others of “like precious faith.” And yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat!
And, we can look forward to this: I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband; Revelation 21: 2 (the whole chapter is beautiful!)
As we begin 2020, I pray that you experience for yourself the goodness of our grace-filled God in new and wonderful ways. Oh how he loves us!