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O Jerusalem

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O Jerusalem - Page Text Content

FC: O Jerusalem | If I Forget Thee

1: Arrival-Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport January 5, 2011

4: This beautiful building was my home for the 4 months I lived in Israel. Construction on the center began in 1984, amid both strong opposition and strong support by local leaders and citizens. Students moved into the building in 1987, and it was dedicated in 1989. The history of this building includes a significant amount of political negotiation and a fair share of miracles. Today, despite tension while the center was being built, Jerusalem locals and BYU students interact with peace and mutual respect. The 8-story building is situated on the Mount of Olives and overlooks the Kidron Valley, East Jerusalem, and the Old City. The center, known as the "Mormon University" to locals, holds a cafeteria, library, two auditoriums, multiple classrooms, and art gallery, in addition to being home to the faculty members and their familys and up to 160 students per semester. The Jerusalem branch of the LDS church meets in the 8th floor auditorium, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the old city. | The Jerusalem Center

6: Our favorite study room | Breakfast in the Oasis | Waiting to take Musallam's final in the Forum | Eating candy from the Shekel Shack | Studying oin the sun

7: Life at the Center | Blood Drive in the Gym | Singing "Yom Huledet Sameach" (o Ashling in Hebrew class | "Studying" on the lawn | On our way to the lower gate

8: Orson Hyde Garden | Helping a stranger start his car | St. Peter in Gallicantu, where Peter denied Christ, overlooks the Mount of Olives | Graves on the Mount of Olives | Tzurim valley

9: Mount of Olives The Mount of Olives refers to a chain of mountains east of the Old City of Jerusalem. It has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and apparently holds over 150,000 graves. To me, the Mount of Olives, feels like sacred ground because of the events of the Savior's life that occurred here. He spent time teaching his disciples on the Mount of Olives and stood on its slopes as He wept over Jerusalem. He journeyed from Bethany to Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of His life, an event repeated every year on Palm Sunday by thousands of Christians from all over the world. Most significantly, it was in an olive garden on the Mount of Olives that Jesus knelt alone to suffer for the sins of mankind. We know that Christ will eventually return and that "his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives" (Zech. 14:4), reaffirming again the importance and sacredness of this beautiful site. These events make it no surprise that many churches and monuments stand on this mount. | Home, sweet home | Palm Sunday walk | Steps from the Kidron valley up to Jerusalem | Taking a Sabbath walk on the Mt. of Olives

10: Golgotha & Garden Tomb The Garden tomb is actually an Iron age II burial cave dating from 600-700 BC. This means that this particular tomb cannot be the 'new sepulchre' of Joseph of Arimathaea (John 19:41) However, the tomb is a good representation of the tomb where Jesus' body was laid, and the beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the tomb offer quiet places for individual reflection. While the tomb itself may not be authentic, Golgotha, which can be seen from the gardens, is almost certainly the hill where Jesus was crucified. Because the Romans generally crucified their victims along roads, Jesus was probably crucified in a field in front of Golgotha, where a bus station is situated today. The fissures in the rock face are more than 4000 years old, so the ominous skull-like features of the hill would certainly have been clear in the meridian of time. Today, the site is taken care of by Christian volunteers.

11: Gethsemane literally means"oil press, which suggests that the garden where Jesus suffered was probably a garden of olive trees near an olive press. A grotto nearby once contained an ancient press, so Jesus' garden may have been nearby. | The keepers of the garden would always unlock the private garden for us, one of our favorite places to visit on Sabbath. We would sing hymns together there and then study individually until it was time to return to the center for dinner. | Garden of Gethsemane

12: Russian Orthodox Church | Russian Orthodox Church | This Russian Orthodox Church is dedicated to Mary Magdelene, who was the first to see Jesus after His resurrection. | The Church of All Nations (so called because donations to build the church came from multiple countries) commemorates Jesus being comforted by an angel as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and holds a stone upon which this event supposedly happened. | Churches near Gethsemane

13: Dominus Flevit | Dominus Flevit is shaped like a teardrop in order to commemorate the Savior weekping over the city of Jerusalem | Dominus Flevit, or "The Lord Wept" | Church of All Nations and the garden of Gethsemane

14: Old City

15: The walled portion of Jerusalem covering only .9 square kilometer (.35 square mile) constituted the entire city of Jerusalem until the mid 19th century. The city is divided into four quarters: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian, which contain homes, shops, and important religious and cultural sites for each group. The current walls of the city were built in 1538 by Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Seven gates (Damascus, Herod's, Lion's, Dung, Zion's, Jaffa, and New gates) currently lead into the city, and four sealed gates are visible along the city walls.

16: Damascus Gate | Damascus Gate gets its name from the ancient road to Damascus that once passed in front of the gate. For us students, Damascus gate was our main access to the Old City. The plazas both inside and outside of the gate buzzed with shopowners shouting about their wares and prices, Ultra-Orthodox Jews on their way to the Western wall, men women selling and haggling for food (and everything else), and us, the students, making our way toward cheap falafel and our favorite sites and shops. Clockwise from top left: Damascus gate during the 6-day war, inside of Damascus gate (as seen from the ramparts on top of the gate), a cute moment I caught while eating lunch in front of the gate one afternoon

17: Clockwise from top left: inside damascus gate, a stand of what we called "Jerusalem Bagels" (from what I can gather, the proper name for this Arab sesame-coated bread is "bagele." Who knows... they were delicious served with Zatar and they were cheap- 3-5 sheqels apiece), man pouring spiked coffee from a pitcher he is wearing, woman selling herbs inside the gate

18: Crusader Chapel-- St. Anne's | ^St. Anne's Crusader chapel | Lion's Gate

19: Lion's Gate | ^ Ruins of bethesda < Poppies at Bethesda V Church of the Flagellation

20: Jewish Quarter | View of the JC from dome of New Hurva Synagogue | The "Broad Wall," remains of the fortifications built by King Hezekiah | Ancient Sedar plate

21: Coats hanging outside of a Yeshiva | Ruins of ancient Roman Cardo (main street through ancient Jerusalem) | Ancient stone wine casks, similar to those which would have been at the wedding at Cana | New Hurva Synagogue

22: Christian Quarter | Lurtheran Church of the Redeemer | Robes sewn in Terra Sancta

23: Church of the Holy Sepulchre | Church of Alexander Nevsky (Russian Orthodox) | Terra Sancta | Hospice at Terra Sancta- Orson Hyde may have stayed here | Neckaces in a shop near Christian Quarter Road

24: Armenian Quarter | Counterclockwise from Top Right: the Muristan (a shopping area in the Armenian quarter), exterior of St. James' Armenian church, street in Armenian quarter, interior of St. James' church (which feels like stepping back into time)

25: Even 2000 after the second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, evidence of its existence (and its destruction) can still be seen, including ruins of a street crushed by falling | Temple stones, sealed gates that once led into the temple compound, and steps leading up to the temple mount where Jesus taught and performed miracles. | Temple Mount Excavations | Ruins of a street and reconstructed shops outside the temple mount | Golden Gate | Sitting on steps where Jesus walked

26: Dome of the Rock Built in 687 AD, this shrine was dedicated in 691 to commemorate the ascension of the prophet Muhammad to heaven on a winged horse. Islamic tradition also names this site as the place where Abraham offered his son Ishmael as a sacrifice, and the building houses a stone from the top of mount Moriah, upon which this sacrifice supposedly took place. Additionally, this site is also supposed to be the exactl location of the Israelite temples. The striking gold dome was origionally constructed of lead; it was covered with gold coloring in the 1960s and replaced with gold leaf in 1993.

27: Al Aqsa Mosque This mosque was constructed ca. 710 AD by the Umayyads to correspond to a chapter of the Qur'an in which Muhammad traveled from Mecca to "the farthest mosque (Masjid al-aqsa)," and then up to Heaven on a heavenly creature called al-Buraq al-Sharif. | Temple Mount Beginning in 20 BC, Herod expanded the original temple platform sitting atop Mt. Moriah to cover 36 acres in order to accomodate Passover crowds. Much of the construction was performed by priests trained as builders, and the resulting temple complex was the largest in the ancient Roman empire.

28: The Western Wall is holy to Jews because of its proximity to the destroyed Israelite temple. The lower "courses," or rows, of stone blocks are original building stones from the Herodian period. These stones are identified by their smooth boss (face) and chiseled margin. The wall stretches 1590 feet long, though much of it has been covered by the city as Jerusalem has grown over the thousands of years since the wall was completed. Today, the plaza in front of the wall serves as an open-air synagogue where Jews worship, welcome the coming sabbath, and hold Bar Mitzvahs and other celebrations. | Kotel The Western Wall

30: Dormition Abbey and Mount Zion | Church of the Dormition | Incidentally, This stature was had been painted gold by the time we left Jerusalem

31: Located just outside Zion's Gate on Mount Zion, The Church of the Dormition marks the location where Mary (Jesus' mother) is said to be buried, though there is no archeological evidence for this claim. Nearby, a cenotaph for King David is housed in a synagogue, though the Bible states that David was buried in the ancient City of David, south of the Temple Mount. Perhaps the most significant site on Mt. Zion for Christians is the Coenaculum, where Jesus held the last supper with His apostles. The building that currently stands on this site has been used for many purposes, including a Muslim mosque and a crusader church, but both archeological and historical evidence support the claim that the last supper and first headquarters of the Christian church were located on this spot of land, though not in the same physical building that currently exists. | Zion's Gate | Coenaculum

32: Emily & I all set to hike thorugh an ancient, water-filled underground tunnel | The "Millo," which supported the palace | The Pool of Siloam, where Christ sent a blind man to be healed | Ancient latrine seat. Really.

33: City of David | When David was king, Jerusalem was actually located on a spur of land south of modern-day Jerusalem. Excavations in this area include Hezekiah's tunnel, which was built by a righteous king in response to the warnings of Isaiah, the "Millo," or stepped stone structure which once supported the palace, and the Pool of Siloam, where Jesus sent a blind man to be healed. Jerusalem began as the city of Salem under King Melchizedek (1800 BC). The city was likely established here because of the reliable water source offered by the Gihon spring. When David captured the city, then inhabited by the Jebusites, around 1000 BC, he moved the capital of his kingdom to this city and called it Jerusalem, or the City of David. David purchased the land on Mount Moriah, to the north of the city, where his son Solomon eventually built the first Israelite Temple. The city continued to grow to the north and west as peole migrated to Jerusalem, the population grew, and the city was destroyed and rebuilt. Today, David's Jerusalem stands entirely outside the city walls, but archeological remains in this area preserve the great events that occurred here. | After our sloshy wade through Hezekiah's tunnel | Pool of Siloam, which Hezekiah's tunnel emptied into

34: East Jerusalem Clockwise from top left: view from my balcony, entrance to the Tomb of the Kings (under construction), Me & Omar the wood carver, laundry outside a home , me & Aladdin's sons at Aladdin money changer, sign for Neuropsychiatrist on Saladin st.

35: Clockwise from top left: Car decorated with flowers for a wedding, sign for the road to Jericho, window in St. George's cathedral, delicious shawerma shop near Jimmy's Bazaar, homes built in the Kidron Valley, Hardware store on Saladin street where Lawrence bought materials to fix a hole in an Arab family's wall

36: Top: the Shuk, a Jewish street market especially busy on Friday afternoons (and which sells delicious Challah) Bottom: residential area in West Jerusalem | Residential area in W. Jerusalem | Top: possibly my favorite building in West Jerusalem (or the top floor of it, anyway) Bottom: Montefiore windmill, | West Jerusalem

37: Clockwise from top left: outside Motke Blum's shop (artist colonies), in front of the YMCA tower, Pres. Ohman playing Carillon bells in the YMCA tower (I played too--All Creatures of our God and King), at a street festival outside Jaffa gate

38: Israeli Soldiers meeting on Mt Herzl | Herzl's Grave | Model of the 2nd temple at Israel Museum

39: Not far from Yad Vashem (Israel's Holocaust museum) is Mount Herzl, which is home to the graves of Jewish Zionist Theodore Herzl and many other important Israeli leaders. The site serves as a monument and reminder of the cost of Israel's freedom. Also in West Jerusalem are the Knesset building, where Israel's legislative body meets, and the Israel Museum, which houses everything from modern art to ancient artifacts and boasts an enormous model of second temple period Jerusalem | Mt. Herzl & Yad Vashem | Spectacular View at the exit of Yad Vashem | In front of the Knesset | "Yad Vashem"

40: Jericho | The Road Down To | Herod's Winter Palace | Wadi Qelt, | Tree of Zacchaeus | Ancient fallen mud bricks

41: We all know the story-- the ancient Israelites, under the direction of the prophet Joshua, marched around this walled city for seven days, shouted, and the walls of the city fell so that the Israelites could capture the city. I knew this story well, but I was still surprised when Bro. Chadwick pointed out the archeological remains of a destroyed wall and the shapes of fallen mud bricks encased in the ground over thousands of years--archeological evidence that this story truly did happen. Other sites near Jericho include the spring healed by Elisha, the Wadi Qelt (an ancient road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and the setting of "the Good Samaritan"), The Mount of Temptation (where Satan tempted Christ), a neolithic stone tower which, dating from 8000 BC, is the oldest known man-made structure, St. George's Monestary, and Herod's winter palace. | St. George's Monestary & Wadi Qelt | Mount of Temptation | Neolithic tower | Fountain at Jericho

42: Valley of Elah, where David fought Goliath | Canaanite temple at Tel Lachish | Bro. Chadwick picks up stones in a dry riverbed in the elah valley, just as David once did | One of three rainbows we saw that day-- Remembering the warm rain, the occasional ray of sun, & the incredible green-ness of the countryside, I think this was the day we each realized just how beautiful Israel is | Beam press for extracting olive oil

43: system of 5 valleys in central Israel, each guarded by both Israelite and Philistine cities in Biblical times. Many ancient battles took place at these cities, including David's spar with Goliath. Today, this beautiful landscape is dotted with the archeological remains of these ancient cities | Tel Lachish | Brother Chadwick & Brother Jackson- Tel Gath | Bell Caves | Tomb at Tel Maresha | Shephelah:

44: Bethlehem | Church of the Nativity | Chapel at Bethlehem University | Church of the Nativity | The star marks the traditional spot where Jesus was born | Church of the Nativity (Catholic chapel)

45: Luke calls Bethlehem "The City of David," but this is the only place in the scriptures where it is called this-- everywhere else in the Bible,, "The City of David" refers to Jerusalem. | I loved this city-- it had such a quiet, peaceful atmosphere, even though it was a busy town. I guess you'd expect that from the town where our Savior was born. We visited the Herodian (a fortress-palace built by Herod), Bethlehem University, where Professor Musallam had some of his students talk to us about being Palestinian students in Israel, and the Church of the Nativity, which is affiliated with several different Christian denominations. Then, we had a beautiful testimony meeting, filled with Christmas hymns, in Shepherd's field as the sun set and the stars came out. | Mary, Church of nativity | Shepherd's field, where we had our devotional | Church of the Nativity | Herodian

46: Bobbing like corks in the Dead sea! | Masada | Masada | Dead Sea | Ein Gedi nature reserve | Waiting for our cable car at Masada

47: Qumran "Cave 4," where many of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found | Dead Sea, seen from Masada | Herod's Hanging Palace at Masada | Floating in the Dead Sea | On our dead sea field trip, we visited Masada, a palace used as a Jewish stronghold during the first revolt against Rome, Qumran, where the dead sea scrolls were found, Ein Gedi, a nature preserve near the dead sea, and the dead sea itself, which at over 1300 ft. below sea level is the lowest spot on earth

48: E | I | L | O | T

49: Near the end of the semester, we had the opportunity to go snorkeling in the Red Sea at the town of Eilot, a popular resort town located on the very southern tip of Israel. Along with a few mouthfuls of very salty water (it was my first time snorkeling), we saw a beautiful variety of large and small tropical fish and coral. We ended the day with Ice Cream at Yotvata, a dairy supported by Kibbutzim located throughout Israel

50: Tel Aviv On one of our last free days of the semester, six of us took a spur-of-the-moment day trip to Tel Aviv. We were more concerned with visiting the beach than visiting the city itself, so after a successful encounter with the main bus stations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, we walked through a flea market, picnicked on a seaside lawn, changed into our swimsuits in a public bathroom, and then walked along the beach looking for a nice (free) public beach. We settled on a stretch of sand behind the Sheraton Hotel, where we later found that Justin Bieber was staying for his concert in Tel Aviv! In addition to hundreds of screaming, singing tweens, we also met Shula, an outgoing masseuse with no inhibitions. Whitney traded Shula a five minute massage for a five minute massage. The result was... unlike anything I've ever experienced, and became a favorite inside joke among us We bought matching anklets and declared the day a success, then bussed ourselves back home to the Jerusalem center.

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