Friday, January 23, 2009

Old City: The Jewish Quarter

Orthodox Jews heading to the Wailing Wall:
Orthodox children playing among ancient Roman columns:
The Mount of Olives, where it is believed that people will be resurrected first after the coming of the Messiah. To get a head start, over 150,000 Jews have been buried here - there are no longer any olive trees, after which the mount was named... just graves.
Security cameras - everywhere. Security is super tight in Jerusalem, far more than anywhere I have ever been. However, interestingly, there is almost no petty or individual crime (robbing, murder, petty thief, etc...) just... some big attacks. I don't know if that makes me feel better or not. Regardless, TONS of security.
Right outside the Jewish Quarter are the ancient baths from which the tradition of baptism has been derived. In the times of the temples, Jews would come to these baths to be spiritually cleansed before they would take their 1/2 shekle and sacrifice (usually a goat, lamb, calf, dove or whatever their best animal was) to be burned at the temple. The would be fully immersed, and then change into white clothing. The Temple was just about a 4 or 5 minute walk from here.
Rght near the ruins of the baths, you can see the church of the Rooster, the place where is it believed that Peter denied Jesus 3 times before the crowing of the rooster:

A statue of David. However, no statue is supposed to stand on HOly Places....
So they broke off his nose to make it imperfect, and therefore not count as a statue:
The star of David, embedded into the wall next to the synagogue which is under the Last Supper and Pentocaust room.
This is room where it is believed that Jesus took his last supper, and (I don't get how this works exactly), where it is believed that the apostles received the Holy Spirit on Pentacost . Like most holy places, it is super complicated - you can see the Arabic on the windows. When the Muslims took back control over this area after being kicked out by the Crusaders, they turned most Christian holy places into mosques - so of course, this building is also a mosque. Oh, and a synagoague, where Jews pray - on the bottom floor. You know, just to make things simple.

This is another picture of the room of the Last Supper/Pentacost. I wasn't quite sure whether I should take pictures or not. Different people react differently when entering this room - our guide said that often charismatic Christians will being yelling and jumping around, and that some even bang their heads on the walls so hard that they have to go to the hospital. I'm not really sure what to think about that either way - this picture is a group I think from Russia, who walked into the room and broke into song - I recognized the melodies of some of the hymns that they sang, but not the words.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: