A fabulous day in Jerusalem

A fabulous day in Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Today is a walking day through the old Jerusalem- cobblestones, hills and lots of steps. Our guide Ruchama was born in Israel. She took us the long way to the walled city of Jerusalem, down steps of a beautiful residential district crossing a valley and finally entering the old city to get to our several lectures at Aish HaTorah. Rushama’s speech on the roof top with a view of The various quarters of Jerusalem, was so poignant and I had tears in my eyes as she recounted her survival and that of many others through so many wars in Israel. The building is stunning and with great views of the Kotel( western wall). In the entry hall hangs one of the most magnificent blown glass work by Dale Chihuly, entitled fire and water. The very first speech was given by the 11th child Rav Yehuda Weinberg, ( he also had 11 siblings) – whenever he called his parents it was easier for him to introduce himself as Eleven. A mild mannered speaker who introduced us to the memory of the founder and his father Rav Noah Weinberg. The film honoring his father depicted his passion to promote Jewish life and how distraught he was to see the Jewish population dwindling. It now offers diverse educational programs and greatly promotes the enrichment of Jewish life. The next speaker was Rav Gav Friedman, he must be the Robin Williams of Orthodox rabbis and his recap of the monologue was right out of “good morning Vietnam”. He was brilliant and I hung on to every word! The last speaker Rav Yom Tov was a trust fund playboy who found humility! With his mellifluous voice, he managed to hypnotize us through meditation, with such verve that most of us dosed off. From the roof top of Aish, there was practically a 360• view of Jerusalem. You could see the last tower where the Kotel ends. We had but a few minutes to experience the Western wall, and with so many people there only a few of us managed to put our prayers in the wall. But the best was yet to come, we walked underneath the Western wall in the tunnels. We experience how the ancient people of Jerusalem stored their water in these huge convex stoned cisterns underneath their homes back then. We walked through narrow sinuous limestone walled passageway at least 300 feet underneath the street surface. What was fascinating is that the Western wall was built all the way down with such huge stones, that it took at least 10,000 men to build this wall. I could not feel any emotions at the Kotel, as we were rushed. But I truly felt it down in the tunnels. We prayed and scattered our prayers in the depth of the stoned walls, many people dovened, prayed and cried. But I will cherish that moment as it was an intimate experience and a deep connection to the temple and their way of life tin ancient times. We then proceeded to walk to the Mamilla mall, it’s like a very large Rodeo Collection filled with s blend of international and Israeli shops. We had a great dinner. The food didn’t matter much, we just had a great time getting to know each other a little better. The cacophony of laughter rose a bit more with each glass of wine! A great way to end such a beautiful day!

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