Bock

Jerusalem: City of Three Faiths May 22.08

Well, I have spent the first of three trips to Jerusalem this summer. This one involved leading a group of about 45 through the city as part of a tour with Insight for Living (Chuck Swindoll).

It has been great.

Well, I have spent the first of three trips to Jerusalem this summer. This one involved leading a group of about 45 through the city as part of a tour with Insight for Living (Chuck Swindoll).

It has been great.

Today we went up to the Temple Mount which is now occupied by the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock (built in AD 691) to commemorate the supposed ascension of Mohammed to receive the Koran. This city is such a complex mix of cultures and religions coexisting with all kinds of negotiated arrangements. As you climb up to the mount, Israeli military and police watch over you before giving way to oversight by the Muslims located at different points on the Mount near the two key sites. Riot shields are stored in open view on the Israeli side. The entire exercise made for quite a walk.

The Area of the Mount is huge, something you do not sense from outside the walls. Outside the times for muslim prayers, the area is largely empty. So we had a leisurely walk with some of the members of our tour (we are one of 14 buses here for the tour).

Dome of the Rock, May 22, 2008 

Our tour was led by a very loyal conservative Jewish guide, who knew his material well. We had several nice conversations and plan to stay in touch. Now we head to Jordan for a week before returning to Israel for a few more weeks. Such trips not only make the Scripture come alive, but helps me to get updated on what is going on here. For example, excavations at the Pool of Siloam have come a long way since I was last here in March, 2007. It is fun to see the progress of things over more than a year’s period. 

 

 

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