Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today I went to the Wohl Archaeological Museum. It gives you an idea of what may remain hidden under the Old City. It is located underground and preserves the remains of six houses from the Herodian period that were excavated in 1967. In Temple times, this part of the city was home to wealthy priestly families. Homes were built on the hill overlooking the Temple Mount, with the roof of each home at the basement level of the house above it, so that every house enjoyed a spectacular view of the Temple.

After that I went back to the Western Wall. It is day and night different from our concept of praying. We like silence for private prayer or unison in public prayer. There is basically chaos at The Wall. People reading out loud. People praying silently. People bowing in small motions all around you. Visitors like me walking around. People moving chairs and tables over the stone pavement. People discussing (or yelling about) the Torah or the commentaries or whatever. The men and women are separated for prayer at The Wall. I don’t know about the women’s side but the Men’s side has a tunnel that is air conditioned. That’s where a lot hang out or even take a little nap. Another strange item is that there is a covered ramp right over the Jewish area leading non-Muslims to the Temple Mount or the Dome of the Rock. But the Jewish people will not go the top because they are not sure where the Holy of Holies of the last temple was located and so they are afraid they might step on it and become impure. I have two pictures of the ramp shown today. Also a picture of the Dome of the Rock.