Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day Seven: Exam and Free Afternoon

Dormition Abbey
So yesterday afternoon and evening I ended up just staying at JUC enjoying the day of rest and tagging my many pictures so I do not forget what is what! Actually this blog has been a great review for me and has helped to solidify places and events in my mind. This morning was exam day. Thankfully, it was a bit easier than I was expecting, though in my review I had skipped harvest cycles so I had to guess on those. Afterward we had a preparation lecture on the Shephelah (lowlands), the Negev, and the Dead Sea. We will be heading out for three days two nights to visit each of these locations. Which means I have no idea if I will have internet the next few days.

In the afternoon, I caught a few of the extra sights I had wanted see. I quickly headed out for the Temple Institute to catch their 1:30 English tour. When I arrived at the location I though they were supposed to be located, I found nothing called Temple Institute. I tried following the street side information guides, but they too lead me to nearly empty side roads … where could this place be? I walked into another museum nearby to inquire as to where I could find the Temple Institute. To my surprise, this was it! They had Temple Mount Visitor Center on the building, so I did not recognize it earlier. As I was there at 1:45, they said the next English tour would be at 3:15. I headed out, meandered through the Jewish Quarter, and discovered some underground shopping down by the old Roman Cardo. Although there are buildings on top of the Roman Cardo, there are also shops down a passage on the same level. There were also a few more archaeology look over spots from down here as well to the pre-Roman era. I then came back out and headed toward Jaffa Gate and looped through the Armenian Quarter, stopped in an Armenian Chapel, but no pictures were allowed. I then headed back out to the Dormition Abbey to look at the chapel and artistry there. In the crypt below is the supposed place where Mary is buried – probably not – but cool nonetheless. It was now approaching 3:00, so I headed back to the Temple Institute. The tour group I was in was a bunch of college students and a woman from South Africa. Here at the Temple Institute, they do not "preserve" the past but are attempting to shape the future. They are preparing for the day that they are able to build the temple on the Temple Mount. Although I have been familiar with the Temple Institute for some time and have kept up with their progress online, I was a bit disappointed with the tour. The young Israeli women who showed us around had a fairly light and "goofy" mood. She was brief and tried to move us through quickly. Additionally, they did not have all the utensils and articles on display: only a selection, and the video at the end "was not working." When it was time to leave, the lady from South Africa had a few questions, so I stuck around to hear the answers. Toward the end of the conversation, the South African woman made a complaint to the women on the brevity of the tour, for there was so much that could have been covered. The women in a roundabout way said she did not want to bother explaining their ways to Christians. The lady quickly replied that she was Jewish. This took the young lady by surprise, made an apology, and continued to show her a few different things. Nevertheless, it was nice to see the temple furnishings and get a basic understanding of their plan. Everything is ready to go the moment they have the go ahead. All of the articles have been constructed, the garments sown, the building materials purchased, the red heifers breeding, and the priesthood trained. Sounds like it will not take them long to build it either! Interestingly, whoever purifies the temple and priests, will himself become unclean. Whoa! It hit me in that moment that Jesus was our sanctifying Red Heifer. He became sin, to make us holy. What beautiful symbolism!

On my way back to JUC, I stopped by King David's Tomb (even though it's not). There really was not much to see. It was partitioned off for the men to pray on one side and the women on the other. I covered my head with the paper kippa and proceeded inside. As there were several Jewish men praying inside and the kippa would not stay on my head, I did not take any pictures: just stayed long enough to catch a glimpse. I then headed back to JUC for the evening to catch up on some homework and pack for the next day's journey.

Hurva Synagogue in Jewish Quarter

Looking even further down than the Cardo ... don't remember
all the different layers though.

Shopping underground in Jerusalem

The Cardo from "ground" level

Arch in the Armenian Quarter

Artwork in the Dormition Abbey Chapel

Dormition Abbey Chapel

More Art in the Dormition Abbey Chapel

Art in the Crypt of the Dormition Abbey

The Crypt under the Dormition Abbey is supposedly the burial place of Mary
(though in all reality it's probably not)

Art in the Crypt of the Dormition Abbey

For some reason there are Jewish kids everywhere today!! And most of them
left unattended wandering the streets ... 

In the Temple Institute (not supposed to take pictures so I had to sneak a few)
Behind the gentleman is a Menorah for the Next Temple

Our Tour Guide. Behind her is a replica of the Ark of the
Covenant. They say they know where the original is located.

Shot of the Golden Alter of Incense. We were allowed to smell some of the
incense, but it only had four of the eleven ingredients for temple use.

Flowers on path back to campus. 

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