Mount of Olives panorama

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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This and That on a Thursday in Jerusalem

I did not quite know what to call this blog post, because we did a number of different things this last Thursday.  These included a visit to a neighborhood mosque, having dinner in the Armenian Quarter with friends visiting from Provo, viewing the Herodian Family Tomb, and taking a stroll through glitzy areas of West Jerusalem

Our students go to a lot of historic churches, synagogue, and mosques, but this week Kent arranged for our students to visit an average, working mosque in the nearby neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz.  This was the Abdin Mosque, and though it is not large, it gave our students a better idea of how Islam is lived by average Muslims. A regular attendee there gave us a lecture and answered questions.

Prayer times are listed on an electronic board on the wall

Elaine and some of the students exiting the mosque
Elaine and I then went down to the Old City, where we met our friends Craig and Andrea Merrill, who were just finishing a tour to the Holy Land.  We had a luscious meal and a good visit in one of my favorite restaurants in the Old City, the Armenian Tavern.

An example of the "starters."  I did not think to take many pictures at dinner (which is not very characteristic of me!)
When we finished eating, Craig and Andrea had a little over an hour before they needed to get back to their hotel to start getting ready to leave.  So we walked out through the Jaffa Gate so that we could walk through the areas of West Jerusalem closest to the Old City.

Looking at the Citadel from the Yemin Moshe neighborhood of West Jerusalem.

Jaffa Gate

Looking towards Mount Zion (the top of Dormition Abbey can bee seen over the corner tower)
First on my list of things to show things to show them was the Herodian Family Tomb.  While Herod himself was buried at the Herodion outside of Bethlehem, it is believed that members of his family (some of his wives and several of his children) were buried here in sight of his grand Jerusalem Palace, which was along the western wall of New Testament Jerusalem.  What I like about this tomb is that it dates securely dated to the first century A.D. and is a good example of what an aristocratic tomb like Joseph of Arimathea's would have looked like . . . in other words, it gives us an idea of what Christ's tomb would have been, complete with rolling stone intact.

Approaching the Herodian Family Tomb.  Note the large, square ashlars of earlier outbuildings

Close-up of the rolling stone in its trough

With Craig in front of the Tomb.  I used an inside picture of this tomb with light streaming into it as the facing page of the Easter Sunday chapter of God So Loved the World.

The forecourt of a neighboring aristocratic tomb

Most of the front of this neighboring tomb has been destroyed.
We then walked over to King David Street, where we walked by the magnificent King David Hotel and the YMCA, after which we strolled through the modern, ritzy Mamilla Shopping Area.

The back of the King David Hotel

Carillon Tower of the YMCA

Andrea and Elaine strolling through the Mamilla Shopping Center.  I could have saved Elaine a lot of culture shock if this had been the first place in Jerusalem that I had taken her!

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