Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More on Israel

Well, we are all safely in our homes again after a fantastic time together in Israel. After we lost our internet connection we spent several more days touring and seeing places of interest. I will post a few pictures here and make some comments. The picture below is at the Western Wall, sometimes called the Wailing Wall. I did not know that the Orthodox Jews in Israel do not have jobs. Their view is that their contribution to the country is that they pray. They are supported by the government which naturally causes some friction among the rest of the citizenry. We chatted with one man who came from Mexico at the urging of his wife to go and pray in Jerusalem for a month

Another stop on Friday was Hezekiah's tunnel. Things have changed drastically since I was last in Israel and this site is a good example. People rarely walked this tunnel in the past. Now it is all set up for tourists with fancy steps, a gift store, and all the other trappings. Amazing digs are taking place but since some of this area is under the site of Arab homes, there are political difficulties. People are trying to buy up homes up above, so digging can be done underneath. What a country!! Anyway, back to the tunnel. You can read about this tunnel in the OT. It was built during King Hezekiah's time to assure the Israelites a supply of water in the case of siege. The tunnel is about 1/3 mile in length and is fed by the Gihon spring. Water was up to just above our knees in a few parts but mostly about a foot deep. It is an amazing feat of engineering because obviously the water had to flow by gravity. We walked the entire length in about 20 minutes or so. The picture tells the story well although much of its length we had to stoop quite a bit in order to make it.

Our day ended with a visit to Gordon's Tomb. This is a possible site of where Jesus may have been buried and the photo above is the possible tomb of Joseph of Arimatheia. There are some compelling reasons to believe it might be, but in recent years scholars have begun to question it more and more. As our host told us, the actual location is not that important. The historical fact that Jesus died and rose again is important.

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