Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Monday, May 15, 2017

Last Day: Israel Museum, Hebrew University, and a Possible Emmaus

One of my last views of the Temple Mount and Old City from my final morning run
I started my last day in Jerusalem with what has become my traditional run, though I pushed it all the way up to the BYU Jerusalem Center, where I could take some final pictures and say goodbye to some of the security staff.








Israel Museum

One of the reasons for our trip extension was for my research and class prep for this fall's ANES 310, History and Culture of Ancient Israel. Although I have been through the Israel Museum several times before, Rachel and I went through the archaeological wing very slowly and carefully this morning, taking notes and pictures of important artifacts (not posted here).


When we came out, we went up to the plaza of the Shrine of the Book for iconic pictures between the black monolith representing the Sons of Darkness and the white roof that looks like a Dead Sea Scroll jar.



The view of the Israeli Knesset, or Parliament, over the roof of the Israel Museum

Mount Scopus Campus of the Hebrew University


We spent much of the afternoon with Amanda Brown, an ANES alumna and a member of the Jerusalem Branch, who gave us a tour of the main campus of Hebrew University. Established on Mount Scopus in 1918, its founders included Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. After the 1948 war, Mount Scopus was cut off from the rest of Israel, and a new campus was established in West Jerusalem. After 1967, the old campus on Mount Scopus was renewed and expanded and now seats most of the Humanities and Liberal Arts programs.




The Hebrew University outdoors "amphitheater" overlooks the Judean Wilderness to the east
I have been on the campus a few times before, but Amanda's tour was pretty thorough. It also was useful since, among other things, Rachel is considering doing a Masters degree here after she graduates from BYU with her major in ANES-Greek New Testament and her minor in Modern Hebrew.




The campus includes a wonderful biblical garden in which is found an archaeological site that I have been meaning to see for years, Nicanor's Tomb. This tomb complex was apparently started by "Nicanor the Door Maker," who may have donated the doors to the temple. It is interesting to me because it provides another example of what the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where Jesus was buried, might have looked like.







Menachem Ussishkin, an early Zionist, secured the site of Nicanor's Tomb and envisioned that it would be a "national pantheon" for the graves of leading Israeli figures, but only he and Leon Pinsker were buried there.



On our way out of town, Rachel and I stopped at two sites in the current Arab town of Abu Ghosh on the way to Tel Aviv, which is one of the possible sites of Emmaus, on the road to which two disciples encountered the Risen Lord.

The first was the Church of the Resurrection.





The other site we stopped to see before heading to the airport and our flight home was Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant. After the Ark of the Covenant was regained from the Philistines, it went to Bet Shemesh and then to here, Qiryat Ye'arim, until David took it to Jerusalem. The Byzantines built a church here, destroyed first by the Persians and later by the mad Fatimid caliph Hakkim. When a French order started rebuilding it, they found the 5C mosaic. Just as the ark held God's word, so Mary held the Incarnate Word, first in her womb and then in her arms.







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