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