Israel Travel Journal, Day 2

Dome of the Rock

The food here is surprisingly good. I say “surprisingly” because when I think about eating out I don’t think “Let’s go for Jewish.”

As usual, today breakfast included food I’d never see before. It is best described as a loaf of sugar.  Not knowing this, and wanting to make sure it was sufficiently sweet, I topped it with molasses.

I’m still not sure what it’s called, but I get the concept.  Why dress up sugar in cakes, pies and other confectionaries?  Just put it in a loaf and go for it.

Our day started with a visit to the Dome of the Rock, a mosque built in the 7th century over the place where it’s believed Abraham was prepared to sacrifice Isaac.

It’s also the place where the Second Jewish Temple was located before it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.  This place is very important to Muslims and Jews, as places seem to be for both.

From there we went to the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the man who had been lame for 38 years.  (John 5:1-17).  About 100 feet away is St. Anne’s Church, a church built by the Crusaders in the 12th century with acoustics that have to be heard to be believed.  After our group of 17 believers entered, we began to sing the hymn, Holy, Holy, Holy, and as our voices filled the sanctuary, the presence of the Lord transformed this historical landmark into a church.

Graves @ Jerusalem Wall

We then walked outside the city walls through the Muslim graveyard that sits just below the East Wall. From there one cannot help but notice the graves blanketing the hills on the other side of the valley.

There are graves everywhere one looks, surrounding a temple Jesus predicted would be destroyed within a generation after He paved the way for the Spirit of God to dwell in Man. (Matt. 24:1-34).  One cannot miss the message.

After a boxed lunch inside the walls, we went to the Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall, where Jews believe the presence of God resides, and where Jews from all over the world come to pray in the hopes of being heard by God.

Wailing Wall

I walked to the wall and touched it, but didn’t pray (no wall necessary for that) and then turned to walk away.  I later learned you are not supposed to turn your back on the wall because it’s considered turning your back on His presence.

The Scripture that resonated in me all day was Paul’s rebuke to the Athenians, “The God who made the world and all things it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands…” (Acts 17:24).

I’m glad my church meets in a movie theater.  No one will be misled into thinking we believe God dwells behind stained glass or under steeples. Instead, His Holy Spirit dwells in men and women who have believed on His Son.  Until tomorrow. GS