May 14 – Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, Temple Mount, Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Jerusalem, Israel) TEMPLE MOUNT This early morning we joined the security line to gain entrance to the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. We accessed the Temple Mount via a wooden bridge (far left), which connects the Western Wall Prayer Plaza to the Mount. Walking the Temple Mount (the Al-Aqsa Mosque stands behind us). Historically, the Holy Temple of Jerusalem was located on the Temple Mount platform. Known as Herod’s Temple, this second temple of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE, ending the Great Jewish Revolt. Walking the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock stands before us. Inside this shrine, but not open to us, is the Foundation Stone that all three major faiths consider sacred. Dome of the Rock. WESTERN WALL We also visited the Western Wall where Jews pray in close proximity to where their Temple once stood. Our group visited the women’s and men’s sections of the Western Wall. Meeting of the Western and Southern Walls of the Temple Mount. From the top corner stones of these walls a trumpet would sound the Jews’ call to prayer. Replica of the second Temple fallen stone bearing the inscription: “to the place of trumpeting to …” The pile of rocks at the base of the Western Wall confirms Jesus’ prophecy: And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mark 13:2) Sitting in the doorways of shops at the base of the Western Wall. Walking the southern steps that Jesus (according to tradition) walked up to access the Temple Mount. HEZEKIAH’S TUNNEL Walking through Hezekiah‘s tunnel (8 century BC), an engineering feat. Hezekiah‘s tunnel Hezekiah‘s tunnel. The water was cold and refreshing! Hezekiah‘s tunnel – Thirty minutes later we emerged from the tunnel!