There are still four days left of our Israeli adventure, but it's going to be hard to top today's events. Nothing I've ever experienced even comes close to bringing out the range of emotions I feel when praying at the Western Wall.
We started our day walking through the Hezekiah Water Tunnel, carved under the City of David in Jerusalem during the late 8th century BCE.
Our next stop - the Western Wall. There are many layers to this historic structure, literally and figuratively . There is construction in many places due to the ongoing excavations - new finds have been made underground adding more pieces to the puzzle.
As we look at another section of the Western Wall, we are shown a Hebrew inscription, 2 stones beneath the plant. It is from Isaiah 66-14 loosely translated "If we can still see this, we should rejoice." Thousands of years and pilgrimages later, we do see this, and we are rejoicing.
We have one more tour, inside the Western Wall, before we get to the most famous part of the wall outside. The corridors and bedrock give us insight as to what happened here thousands of years ago.
Women, unfortunately are still not given the same rights as men when it comes to praying at the Western Wall. Outside, they are separated from the men, each having their own part of the wall. The women's side is smaller. Inside they are also given a smaller portion of wall designated for them to pray and insert prayer notes. Although the indoor area is much smaller than the men's it is actually closer to the central force of the Temple Mount, making this women's area closer to the Holiest of Holies.
It is finally time to head outside and prepare to pray at our designated areas of the Western Wall. I am overcome with emotion.
Very powerful, indeed. We leave the Western Wall with renewed faith and readiness for lunch! Wouldn't you know it, our lunch break includes some history. The Cardo was Jerusalem's main street 1,500 years ago. Today it is key attraction in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, filled with restaurants, specialty shops and of course, ancient ruins.
Tomorrow - two more historic places. Our guide Zvi tells us he has a new spin on an old site. This has peaked my curiosity. Stay tuned!