“And Hiram the king of Tyre sent messengers to Davd, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house.”
At home in the U.S., we measure time in centuries. Today, we traveled back in time through millennia. We began this morning at the City of David, the fortress of King David, who ruled over all of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem approximately 3,000 years ago.
Our guide Samuel first challenged our students to think about what they do or do not believe in the Tanakh—and then to rethink about what they believe as they literally walked through the archeological evidence of the Biblical stories they’ve been studying for years at Community Day School.
The Hebrew word of the day is מִנְהָרָה, or tunnel. And within the City of David, our students made the trek this morning through Hezekiah’s Tunnel in cold, knee-high water. The tunnel was built in the 8th century BCE, when King Hezekiah decided to protect the city’s water supply in the Gihon Spring from the invading Assyrian army by diverting it through an impressive tunnel system carved from ancient stone.
Armed with flashlights, water shoes, and several Go Pro cameras, we made our way through the 1,750-foot Hezekiah’s Tunnel—a true feat of engineering. We had to watch our heads (well, some of us) and watch our step as we splashed our way through the narrow, slippery passages in the pitch dark, eventually emerging from the tunnel with cold, wet feet and huge smiles. This video gives you a taste of our experience …
From there, we continued to walk underground though a drainage channel, only recently open to the public, walking on 2,000-year-old paving stones until we exited on the Herodian street by the western wall below Robinson’s Arch. It is believed that Jerusalem residents hid from the Romans in this channel until they either succeeded to flee the city or were discovered.
In between tunnel walks, we kept our energy levels up with the fun game of “Wa!” with Liora. Here’s a quick look in case you don’t know how to play …
Our trek then continued along the walls of the Old City, wending our way through one of the holiest places in the world.
Flash-forward 3,000 years to modern-day Jerusalem, and we enjoyed a falafel and shawarma lunch in Ramat Bein Hakarem and a little shopping.
And now it is time to prepare for Shabbat. We will walk to Kehilat Kol Haneshama, a local Reform congregation, for Kabbalat Shabbat and then enjoy Shabbat dinner together and Oneg Shabbat at our hotel. Tomorrow morning, we will head to Moreshet Israel synagogue for Shabbat morning tefillot.
Wishing you a warm and wonderful Shabbat Shalom from Yerushalayim, and we will resume our posts after Havdallah tomorrow …