Israel Trip – Day 9 – Israeli Museum, Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum), the House of Caiaphas and Our Guide

Well, this morning we were told by our guide (Irit Doron) that it would be a little less challenging physically for us.  She obviously  uses her treadmill way more than I do.  One thing that Irit promised us at the beginning our tour many days ago is that we will want to stay at each of these sites longer than we were allowed.  There is a balance between quantity and quality of how many sites we can see.  She did a great job of balancing out how much we saw versus how much time we got to spend at each site.  I cannot recommend this highly enough.  Pilgrim Tours really does put together a very nice program, and if you are fortunate enough to get Irit to be your guide, you will be very blessed!   We did the 10-day “Best of Israel” Tour package – it is very well worth it.

Israeli Museum

An interesting and educational time awaited us at the Israeli Museum. We walked through collections of centuries-old Israeli artifacts including the Dead Sea Scrolls.  I wish we were able to take pictures inside the museum that contains some fragments of the real Dead Sea Scrolls and also a very good replica of the complete book of Isaiah that was discovered.  To protect the artifacts and scroll fragments from the elements, they do not allow photography in the museum.  Even so, this stop is simply amazing!

After that, Irit (our amazing tour guide) gave us a guided walk through a very detailed model of Biblical Jerusalem will help to bring together what we experienced in the previous days.  This model is mostly updated but does need some changes made to it now that further excavations have been done around the city in recent years. Specifically, we were at the Southern Wall and the model doesn’t show the ritualistic baths that were discovered.  Plus one of the gates has three arches instead of two as previously thought.

Just to give you perspective of the size of this 1:50 scale model, you can see the people on the other side from me.

If you can see that small red arrow, that is pointing to the Western (Wailing) Wall that we visited on the first day in Jerusalem.

From an observation section to see an overview of the lower portion which is the City of David. I have to give you two amazing points that we learned from being here. First when type reading in Scripture about “going up to the House of the Lord”, you can see from the lower City of David, it is an uphill climb to get to the Temple.

Second is an amazing geological observation. There are three valleys that the City of David rests on top of. To the right, we have the Kidron Valley that separates the city from the Mount of Olives, then in the center, we have what is known as the Tyropoeon (Cheesemakers) Valley. On the left, we have the Hinnom Valley. The amazing part is that these valleys form the Hebrew letter “shin” which is the symbol of God’s revealed name “Shaddai”, the bountiful nourisher and protector. Absolutely amazing!  Sorry for my rough sketches – it really does line up to form the “shin” letter better than I drew, plus my photo isnt pulled out quite far enough to show it best, but you get the idea… the Tyropoeon valley flows into the Hinnom Valley which further down, connects with the Kidron Valley.

Above is the Hebrew letter “shin” which is the symbol of God’s revealed name “Shaddai”, the bountiful nourisher and protector.

Shrine of the Book portion of the museum where the scroll fragments and replica of the full Isaiah scroll are kept.

Yad Vashem – the Holocaust Museum

We then made a visit to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, for a much-needed reminder of what the Jews have suffered as a people. We were not able to take pictures inside the museum, which is where a majority of the very sobering information is located.  This was not a difficult stop physically, however it was very hard from an emotional perspective.

House of Caiaphas

Next we visit the House of Caiaphas where Jesus was beaten and spit upon. We could walk down to see the possible pit where he may have been held for the evening and the ancient hillside steps he walked as he was taken to be condemned.

Unfortunately, my feet were killing me as this time in Jerusalem has a lot of walking on very hard stone surfaces.  I opted not to walk down and then back up the steps, but we did have an absolutely amazing view of the lower and upper side of the old city.

Looking down into the tip of the City of David (left half of the photo)

Further left and you can see the Dome on the Rock, which is where the Temple actually stood.

Our Tour Guide

If you do get a chance to get to Israel and are blessed enough to have Irit be your guide, it will be an unforgettable time that is sooooo worth investing in.  Even if you don’t get Irit, Pilgrim Tours has many wonderful guides that are very knowledgeable and helpful. There really wasn’t any time when we didn’t feel safe.

That you so much, Irit! We will miss you! Sababa (it’s all good)!  Ok, friends, Yalla (let’s go)!

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